Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

In Cucumber Glory

May 15, 2017

About 3 weeks ago, Sugar and I were invited to a picnic lunch with a group of FriendsNotFriends. One we had met once and had actual conversation, one we had met on a tour, and the rest were social media friends and their friends. 

All these folks were in a social media history group. One of these people is a published author. The picnic was to be held at the author’s place on a barrier island. 

Y’all already know that Sugar considered not going before he considered going. Being a recluse involves a lot of planning and worry, especially if there are people involved because the situation might get too people-y. Plus there was that Meeting A Famous Author thing. 

I think the last time I was at a picnic was when I was a child, otherwise known as A Very Long Time Ago. We weren’t sure how this modern-day picnic would play out. 

Would it be outside?

Or on a screened porch? 

Will it involve sitting on the ground? 

Do we take our own drinks? Utensils?

Do we take food just for us or for everyone?

Clearly, our picnicking social skills are lacking.

Sugar thought we should take cucumber sandwiches. Do you know how hard it is to find good cucumbers in season in early May?


We found some small pickling cucumbers that were prepacked. They appeared to be from Mexico, and why wouldn’t they be?

Through careful planning and another desperate circling of one of the only two grocery stores in our little town, Sugar chose a loaf of some kind of wheat bread that wasn’t super wheaty. I offered another kind of bread that was sprinkled with seeds and toppings, but he said no. That was not how his mother would have done it. 

Now, Sugar and his mother had a strained relationship like many, many of us. Sometimes, the strain comes from generations of issues, and sometimes it is created in just our own life. It’s a complicated thing. 

Sometimes we make cucumber sandwiches. 

Sugar said we had to cut the crusts off of the bread before we make the sandwiches, because that is how his mother did it. And we had to spread the mayonnaise on two slices of bread, layer the cucumbers on the first slice, lightly sprinkle some salt, and place the top slice of bread, then cut on a diagonal. I told him he wasn’t supposed to eat salt and these sandwiches might kill him. He said that was okay. 

We made ten sandwiches which turned into twenty when we cut them on the diagonal. They fit perfectly into those plastic Gladware containers. 

And off we rode in Ole Yeller with our sandwiches, some donuts from the bakery, and a jug of sweet tea. 

We had an address that I plugged into the map app on the iPhone. Lots of times the GPS is off, but this time it was perfect. Everyone else had gathered in the living room of the cottage, and we offered our cucumber sandwiches on the table which was covered with all manner of good things, like pimiento cheese, and chicken, and pasta salad, and hoecakes, and meatballs. I’m probably forgetting something. 

Then the hostess spotted our cucumber sandwiches. She stood by the table and took a bite of one. She held it aloft and said, “Who brought these?”

Sugar spoke up and claimed our ownership. That’s right, the famous recluse engaged in conversation with someone he hadn’t known 15 minutes before. 

After lunch, we all walked down to the water, which meant walking across some fields by some ponds to Alligator Creek. There is a dock, but no alligators, and a little summerhouse with a screened porch. 

We sat on the dock, and posed for a photo. It’s not every day that you can bask in cucumber glory. 

Afterwards we took a tour of the garden, and Sugar scored some bunching onions. 

As we said our goodbyes, Sugar offered the remaining cucumber sandwiches to our hostess. She accepted every last one. 

When we drove off, our new friends waved goodbye, and our hostess waved while enjoying a cucumber sandwich. 

And that? Is a Very Good Day. 

Making Movie Magic

May 6, 2017

It’s all about DNA and 23andMe. 

Sugar’s cousin Jordan has a fascinating story about how hIs family connects with Sugar’s family. Their most recent common ancestors are Joseph and Sarah Robert Lawton. 

Another of Jordan’s cousins is Tom. 23andMe wanted to make a short documentary about the link between these two fellows. 

Filming was going to be done on Edisto Island, Robertville, and Tom’s family place near the headwaters of the Coosawhatchie. (Remember? It’s pronounced COO-sah-HATCH-ee.)

The film producers did some telephone interviews with myself, Jordan, Tom, and some more of Jordan’s cousins, namely Boyce and Ashby. It was decided that they might need a guide for some of the locations around Robertville (waves hand wildly in the air). Plus Tom invited us to his family’s place to visit while the filming was being done there. 

The morning of the filming was at Edisto, the first known location of the Lawton family in America, before it was America. William Lawton died in 1757. 

The afternoon was a meeting at the meeting house of Black Swamp Baptist. 

Jeremy the director, Sugar, Tom, and Jordan. Sugar is pointing to the graveyard where the Lawton plot is located.

We did not know that they had already filmed for approximately 4 hours in a cemetery on Edisto. I had a list of places that seemed important, and they chose to film at the home site of Black Swamp Plantation. Or rather, what remained of it, since the house was burned by Sherman’s troops in 1865. 

Sugar went on home because he is a recluse, and this is too people-y for him. 

The arrival at the farm gate…

More of the entourage arrives…

We climbed over the gate. Locals driving by slowed down to see what was going on. 

Checking out the setting…

Here’s one of my favorite shots of Tom and Jordan in the afternoon light at the steps. 

I had warned them that there are fire ants living around the steps and that you wouldn’t know you were in them until you were in them. 

I wandered off into the bamboo to visit the rubbish pile of old bricks and debris. 

When I walked out of the bamboo, I saw a scene taking place at the farm gate. 

The gentleman leaning on the gate is the caretaker, and he stopped to make sure that no one was metal detecting. He unlocked the gate so we didn’t have to climb over. He told the crew to be careful and have a good time. 

Lighting is so important in photography. I took a photo of Tom and Jordan during a break, and the light was in my eyes. I didn’t know that Tom was taking a photo of the crew until later when I zoomed in on the image. 

Then even later, Tom posted a photo of the group, and there I am taking a photo of him and Jordan. See the difference in the lighting? So amazing. 

I don’t know who took this photo, but I’m standing at the farm gate with some of the crew. I enhanced the photo for your viewing pleasure. 

At the end of the day’s filming, the sun was dropping behind the trees and making the most perfect silhouettes on the backdrop of the steps. 

Ignore my finger blocking part of your vision. I have no skills at this point of the day. 


The next morning, I told Sugar we were leaving in 30 minutes to go to Tom’s family place about 45 minutes away to meet up with Tom, Jordan, and the crew. Because he is recluse-y, he had decided that he wouldn’t go, but because I posed the situation in a statement, not a question, he got in the car. 

The crew was setting up in the house for the interview sessions, and we got in a quick tour of the house before the set was closed. 

We rounded a corner, and stopped in shock because we didn’t expect to see this guy here. 

It’s Alexander James Lawton, the 2nd great-grandfather of Sugar. This oil hung in Sugar’s grandmother’s house in Savannah for about 50 years, and Sugar had always wondered what happened to it. 

The set was closed while Jordan was interviewed, and Tom took us on a tour of the area. 

Baby alligator out Tom’s car window…

The headwaters of the Coosawhatchie Swamp…

Hanging out over a waterway…

Mr. Turtle…

At one remote area, we saw a swallowtail kite. Only Sugar knew for sure that it was what it was, and later he produced his bird book with proof. “Uncommon and local. Most often seen soaring low over swampy woods…” Exactly this. 

We circled our way back to the house, and chatted a bit, and said our goodbyes. 

Because we have cats, and yarns, and other dead people to tend to. 

One Smoke Over the Line

April 21, 2017

Sugar is a recluse. 

Some people bought the wooded lot next to his, and cut most of the trees down so they could bring in a trailer. 

He considered building a privacy fence in the buffer zone between the two lots to block his view of the activity next door. He decided to plant some fast-growing shrubbery just inside where he thought the line was, and he also attached some privacy panels, similar to tarps, to the chainlink fence that separated his yard from his driveway along the west side.

To be fair, the neighbors are nice people. It’s just hard for a recluse to live next door to people that have friends and family visiting, play music outside, have parties, and burn stuff in a burn pile outside. 

Because the smoke drifts over to Sugar’s house. 

On Palm Sunday, we were sitting on Sugar’s front porch enjoying the nice spring weather. We heard the leaf blower crank up next door, and we knew the guy was going to burn. 

We couldn’t see what or where the guy was blowing. The smoke started to drift over the chainlink fence from far away, which looked like the guy had set the fire by the main road. 

About an hour or so went by, and Sugar realized that the neighbors had left, and that the smoke was coming stronger and closer over the privacy tarps. He went to investigate, and called back to me, “We have a forest fire.”

I took a photo and sent a text to the people, who were clearly missing in action, that their fire was burning his property. I grabbed a broom, and he got the water hose, and between the two of us, we watered and smacked out the fire. 

They showed up in 5 or 10 minutes. Neither seemed particularly upset. Sugar asked the man if he meant to burn the property. The man said yeah okay. Sugar told him he didn’t want his property burned. The man said yeah okay. Sugar told him not to burn his property again. The man said yeah okay. 

Sugar is standing on his driveway. I am facing north. The neighbor had blown a fire line on the left track of Sugar’s driveway, intending to burn it all up.

I’m standing at his neighbor’s driveway looking at east. They burned it all up.

Sugar called a surveyor this week. That buffer zone? All his. The neighbors seemed surprised by that, and claimed that the front stake was not placed correctly, because his friend that he bought the lot from told him so. 

Now we are taking a survey. Do you believe a professional team of surveyors, or a man out standing in his field?

If that fire had kept going northward, it would have entered tracts of timberland. Plus it would have burned right by my car, and Ole Yeller might have blown up. 

If the neighbors are surprised by the survey, just imagine how surprised they will be when the privacy fence goes up. 

The 1839 Will of Sarah Lawton

April 19, 2017

Sarah Lawton died on October 6, 1839, according to a remembrance written by her grandson that I posted here on the blog about “Our Grandmother”.

I started to title this post: “The Will of Sarah Lawton”, and then realized that the title might make her sound “willful”. She might have been just that, because she was a strong influence on her children and grandchildren, according to the writer of the remembrance, Joseph Thomas Robert, in 1878. 

There are new online references being added what seems like every day. But the closer I get to the end of my life, the faster time seems to fly. I’m afraid that I will run out of time before I’m satisfied. 

Recently I discovered Sarah Lawton’s will on It is a typewritten copy of the original which is at the Caroliniana Library in Columbia, SC. I can see, in my mind’s eye, someone hunched over a manual Royal typewriter, making the original document legible and available to us. 

I also discovered that page 4 is missing from the ancestry collection. This might mean that a trip to the library is in order. 

Ah, whoever did the transcription also included a breakdown of the descendants. 

Identification of the legatees follows. 

The 22nd is Martha Amanda Lawton, and I wrote about her in a separate post as Amanda M. Miller.

The body of the will is so different from that of a man’s perspective. She leaves personal items, clothing, textiles, and household goods to her granddaughters. She rarely mentions a male unless it is in reference to a female, except for Alexander James Lawton. She also mentions by name the three Mosse sisters that married the three Lawton brothers.  

She also leaves some of her slaves to her descendants, and this makes me wonder if I can match these people to the list of slaves enumerated by Alexander James Lawton in his plantation journal. 

Sarah lived another 24 years after the death of her husband Joseph Lawton. She did not wither nor die without leaving her legacy on the family. 

And that is the will of Sarah Lawton. 

The Will of Thomas Winborn

April 2, 2017

Things are convoluted these days, aren’t they?

Perhaps things have always been convoluted, and we just don’t think that times could possibly be any more difficult that the times we live in.

And that, my reader, is why we look at history and just shake our collective heads.

Consider Thomas Winborn.

He left a will in the mid-1700s.

He had several sons and daughters that are named in the will. He also names his grand-children, and his two sons-in-law. One son-in-law is Mr. William Lawton.

We researchers call him *Captain* William Lawton to distinguish him from all the other William Lawtons, not to disinclude the Wills, Willies, Bills, and Billys. There are quite a few that have accumulated over the last 260 years.

Capt. William is as far back as we can go in America. We think that he was from Cheshire, England. There’s a line of Lawtons that entered the continent into what became Rhode Island back in the 1600s, and we don’t have proof that the Northern Lawton line and the Southern Lawton line are one and the same. (We’re waiting on the Y-chromosome test results, but the lab is severely backed-up.)

Here’s where things can get convoluted: Capt. William married three times. Each wife was named Mary. Mary Clarke, Mary Winborn, and Mary Stone. It’s true.

And 3rd wife Mary Stone had a husband before and after Capt. William. Paul Grimball, William Lawton, and Samuel Fickling.

To further convolute things, Mary Stone Grimball Lawton (Fickling)’s mother Susannah Carriere Stone married again to Thomas Winborn, which was at least his 2nd marriage. Thankfully we don’t know his 1st wife’s name; it is lost to history.

Do you see what just happened here? Thomas Winborn was Capt. William’s 2nd father-in-law by Mary Winborn Lawton, and was also Capt. William’s step-father-in-law by 3rd wife Mary Stone Grimball Lawton. Plus Thomas had a daughter by Susannah Winborn named, what else, *Susannah*.

Thomas lived on Wadmalaw Island. The Lawtons lived on Edisto Island, and subsequent generations from William & 2nd wife Mary lived on James Island.  Capt. Billy died about 1757. Third wife Mary and her son Joseph went to a place near what we now call Robertville.


Let’s pop over to the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. That’s what Akosua did. She’s researching her Beaufort, S.C., family, and is particularly interested in the United States Colored Troops pension files. She found her 4th great-grandmother Mary who filed for a pension on behalf of her son Isaiah who died as a young man during the war, without a wife or children. Mary was quite destitute, and hoped to gain some relief. Her pension application is rich and deep, just like the ones I found for Nelson Brown and Isabella Graham.

Of particular note is that her family were slaves on a plantation on James Island owned by W. W. & James Lawton. This was a lost part of her family history.

So convoluted. Who could have guessed that Akosua, who I have only met once briefly in person, and her research partner Kimberly, and I would now have a common story to research?

WinbornThomas Will P1



South Carolina./.  IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN The fourteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven Hundred & Fifty three & in the twenty Sixth Year of His Majesty’s Reign I Thomas Winborn of Wadmalah Island in St. Johns Parish Colleton County in the said Province Planter being advanced in Years & infirm in Body but of sound & disposing mind & memory (Blessed be God) & considering the uncertainty of this Transitory Life & the certainty of Death do in & by these presents make & declare this my Last Will &
Testament & do also nominate & constitute my two Loving Sons Saml. Winborn & Thomas Winborn Executors thereof hereby Revoking & making Null and void all & every & former Wills and Testaments by me made & declared either by word or by Writing And First & Principally I commend my immortal Soul into the Hands of my Creator in & thro’ the merits & mediation of Jesus Christ my Blessed Saviour & Redeemer in which only I trust for the Pardon & Remission of my Sins & for the obtaining of Eternal Life & Salvation And my Body at Death I commit to the grave to be Interred in a decent & Christian like manner at the discretion of my said Executors in hopes of a Glorious Resurrection And as to my Worldly Estate and all such Lands & Tenements Goods & Chattels as it hath pleased God to bestow on me I will & ordain that they shall be dispos’d of as herein respectively is mentioned of for and concerning the same that is to say I Will & desire that all my just Debts & funeral charges be well & truly paid with all convenient after my Deceased ITEM I give devise & bequeath unto my beloved Wife Susanna Winborn /but only on the terms & conditions hereinafter Limitted & Expressed concerning her/ my negro Woman named Flora my Horse called Dragon her side Saddle & Bridle two Cows Two Calves two Ewes two Lambs I further confirm a Deed of Gift dated April the Eighth Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & Fifty two wherein I have iven her one third part of all my Household Goods forever & Moreover her living in the Houses & Buildings on the plantation where I now live with Two

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Hundred Acres of Land lying Nothermost & adjacent to it & the use of my Negro man Cato & my Negro Woman Dauphny whilst she shall live my Widow & no Longer And Likewise the use of my Negro man Prince two Negro boys to wit May & Simon & my negro Girl Rose for and during the Natural Life of my said Wife & no Longer she providing for maintaining & paying all Incident charges of the said Slaves for & during the Respective Terms for which she shall have the use & profits of them & each of them But I do hereby declare that the said Several Legacies Gifts & Devises together with the said Deed of Gift by me herein given to my said Wife are so given & bequeathed unto her and are by me ment & intended to be in full satisfaction Recompence and bar of all such Dower Interests thirds share or customary part of my Real and Personal Estate which she can or may claim by any Right or Title or custom whatsoever And in case my said Wife shall claim challenge or demand any Dower thirds share Interest or Customary part in of to or out of all or any of my Estate Real and Personal Except only such part thereof & for such Estates & Interest as is herein given bequeathed and devised unto her) I do hereby Will declare and appoint that all & every the devises Legacies Gifts & bequests to her herein given devised and bequeathed shall be void & of none Effect And in such case I give devise and bequeath the same in such manner respectively as hereinafter mentioned (that is to say) such part thereof as it Intended her for her Life or Widowhood Respectively to go as if she had been Dead or Married ITEM I give devise & bequeath to my said Son Samuel Winborn his heirs & Assigns forever the Southernmost moiety or half part of my Tract of Land where I now Live containing about Four Hundred Acres with the Apurtenances thereunto belonging my Negro Slave man Cyrus Negro Boy Bacchus Muster Jemmy Negro Woman Judith & her future Issue a Young Horse called Bembow Two Calves Two Ewes two Lambs & also my Negro Man Cato Saving only my said Wifes Term & use of & in the said Negro man Cato as herein before mentioned ITEM

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I give devise and bequeath unto my said Son Thomas Winborn his heirs & Assigns forever my two Negro men London & Hereford my Negro Woman Cloe & such Issue and offspring as shall be Born of her after my Death my Negro Woman Moll & her future Issue & Offspring two cowes Two Calves & also my present dwelling House with the Northermost half Tract of Land containing about Four Hundred acres with the Appurtenances thereunto belonging & my said Negro Woman Dauphny & her future Issue & Offspring SAVING only my said Wifes use & Term of and in the said Dwelling House Northernmost moiety or half of the tract of Land & appurtenances & negro Woman Dauphney & her future Issue & Offspring as herein before mentioned or Intended. ITEM I give & bequeath unto my Loving Daughter Susannah Winborn by my said present Wife/ for & during her Natural Life or until she shall have Issue of her Body Lawfully begotten & no Longer if that shall happen first he use of my Negro man Hercules & of my Negro Woman Doll & of all her Issue & offspring & also of my Negro man Prince aforementioned & of my said two Negro Boys May & Simon & of my said Negro Girl Rose & her future Issue & offspri8ng Saving only my Wifes Use & term of & in the said Negro man Prince two Negro boys May & Simon a Negro Girl Rose & her future Issue and Offspring as herein before mentioned or Intended But in case she my said Daughter Susanna Winborn shall have Issue of her body Lawfully begotten /then & not otherwise/ I do further bequeath and give unto her my Said Daughter Susanna Winborn forever my said negroes Hercules Doll & her Issue & offspring Prince Simon May Rose & her Issue as aforesaid But if she my said Daughter Susanna Winborn shall Dye without any Issue of her Body Lawfully begotten /then and not otherwise/ I do further give & bequeath /to be delivered at the decease of her my said Daughter Susanna Winborn/ without Issue as aforesaid /the said negroes Hercules Doll and her Issue Prince Simon May & Rose & her Issue Saving only my — said Wifes use and Term Of & in the said Prince May Simon Rose & her Issue as aforesaid unto and among my said two Sons Samuel Winborn & Thomas Winborn equally to be shared & divided between them or if either

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of them should then happen to be Dead having any Child or Children of his body Lawfully Begotten such deceased Fathers share thereof shall go to and be equally amongst his surviving children divided & shared And I nominate & constitute my said Wife Susanna Winborn during her widowhood & no longer Guardian of my said Daughter Susannah Winborn during her minority & after the marriage or Death of my said Wife Susanna which shall first happen I further nominate & Constitute my said Executors Guardians of her my said Daughter Susanna Winborn as aforesaid hereby impowering & directing her said Guardian & Guardians to maintain Cloath & Educate her in the best manner that the use and merits of her said Legacy & portion Will afford without diminishing the Principal ITEM I give & bequeath unto my son in Law Mr. William Lawton Five pounds current money of South Carolina ITEM I give and bequeath to my son in Law Mr. John Gibbons the sum of Five Pounds current money of South Carolina ITEM I will that my said Executors deduct and take out of my Estate the sum of Four Hundred Pounds current money of South Carolina & put out the same to Interest on good Security Yearly & every Year for the use of my Four Grand Children that is say Winborn Lawton, Mary Lawton, Susanna Gibbons & John Gibbons or the Survivor of them during the Respective Minoritys & so to improve the same & to pay over the said Principal & all Interest that shall accrue thereon as Hereinafter mentioned that is to say one Quarter or Fourth part unto my said Grandson Winborn Lawton at his arrival to the age of Twenty one Years one Quarter or fourth part unto my said Grand Daughter Mary Lawton at her arrival at the age of Twenty one Years or day of Marriage /which shall first happen/ one quarter or fourth part unto my said Grand Daughter Susanna Gibbons at her arrival to the age of Twenty one Years or day of Marriage & the Last Fourth or Remaining Quarter part unto my said Grand Son John Gibbons at his arrival at the age of Twenty one Years & if either or any of them should Dye before the time so appointed for Receiving such share above mentioned

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respectively then & in such case the said Deceaseds Share shall go to the Survivors of them at the Respected Days above limited And in Case of the Deaths of all four of them my said Grand Children before the Respective times herein above Limitted for the Payment thereof to them then the whole shall go & be equally paid & divided  between them my said two Sons Samuel Winborn & Thomas Winborn or if either of them should be then Dead leaving any Child or Children of his Respective Body Lawfully begotten such deceased Fathers share thereof shall go & be Equally shared & Divided to and among his respective Surviving Children & I do Give and bequeath the same accordingly And Lastly for the Readier performance of this my Last Will and Testament I ordain that all the Rest Surplus and Residue of my Estate be sold off at Publick Auction & after all Debts Legacies & charges are paid or deducted I give devise and bequeath the Balance or Remaining part thereof unto my said Two
Sons Samuel Winborn & Thomas Winborn Equally to be shared  & divided them to them their Heirs & Assigns Respectively forever In Witness whereof I the said Thomas Winborn to this my Last Will and Testament have set my hand & Seal the day and Year first above written./.  Thomas Winborn (L S)

Sealed & Published & declared by Thomas Winborn as & for his Last Will & Testament in the presence of us who in the Testators presence & at his request have witnessed it.

James Marsh

Thomas Roybould

James Edes

This Will was proved before the Ordinary the 23d January 1756 & at same time Saml. and Thomas Winborn Qualified Executors thereof

This will was proved January 23, 1756. Capt. William Lawton died the following year. I wonder what he did with his five pounds left to him by Thomas Winborn…

McCords & Yandells in “North Carolina Marriages 1801 to 1825”

March 27, 2017

Supposedly I have an ancestor named William McCord who married Mary Wilson Yandell. I had never heard of the Yandell family until my father developed dementia and mentioned them to my brother, who mentioned them to me.

I find the McCords and Yandells mentioned in this book of NC marriages from 1801-1825. Later, in what became West Tennessee, there is a William McCord and his wife Mary W. McCord. Same people? I. Don’t. Know.

McCords & Yandells 1801-1825 Marriages0001McCords & Yandells 1801-1825 Marriages0002McCords & Yandells 1801-1825 Marriages0003McCords & Yandells 1801-1825 Marriages0004

McCords in Tryon County North Carolina Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1769-1779

March 17, 2017

McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790001









McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790002McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790003




[April term 1769]

Pursuant to an Act of Assembly of the Province aforesaid, bearing date of the fifth of December, One thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight, and, in the ninth year of his Majesty’s reign, for dividing Mecklenburg County into two distinct counties by the Name of Mecklenburg county and Tryon County, and other purposes in the said Act mentioned.

His Majesty’s commission under the Great Seale of the Province aforesaid, appointing Thomas Neil Ju’r, William Moore, William Watson, William Twitty, John Retzhoupt, James Mcilwean, Henry Clark, Jonas Bedford, John Gordon, John Walker, Henry Holman, Robert Harris Jr, and David Anderson, Esqrs., Justices, assigned to keep the peace for the county of Tryon aforesaid was read in open court, and also  Commission and Dedimus Potestatum empowering the said justices to administer all oaths, appointed by Act of Parliament for the qualifications of all public officers, and also such other oaths as are appointed by the Act of Assembly for the qualification of all officers, according to their several commissions.

Agreeable to the above Commissioners, Thomas Neil Jr., William Moore, William Watson, and John Retzhoupt, came into open Court and took the oaths appointed by Law for the qualification of Public Officers and also the Oath of Justices of the Peace for the County of Tryon afsd., made and subscribed the declaration and took their seats on the bench accordingly.

Ezekial Polk came into court and produced his commissions [page torn] and took the oath…

At the same time came Alexander Martin into court and produced a license appointed him Attorney for the Crown in said county, who took the oaths by Law appointed for the qualification of public officers, subscribed the test, took the oath of an Attorney and took his place accordingly.

At the same time came Waightstill Avery produced a license appointed him Attorney for the Crown in said county, who took the oaths by Law appointed for the qualification of public officers, subscribed the test, took the oath of an Attorney and took his place accordingly.

At the same time John Dunn, Samuel Spencer, and James Forsyth appeared in court and took the oaths by Law appointed for the qualification of public officers, subscribed the test, took the oath of an Attorney and took their places accordingly.

Ordered by the Court that David Byers & John Brandon serve as Constables in room of John Black and he [sic] swear in before William Watson.

Court adjourned for One Hour. Met according to adjournment. Present: Thomas Neil Jr., William Moore, William Watson, and John Retzhoupt, Esquires.

John Walker and David Anderson came into court and took the oaths by Law appointed for the qualification of public officers, subscribed the test, took the oath … [torn] their place accordingly.


McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790004

The Grand Jury

1  James Campbell, foreman

2 Alex’r Campbell

3 Jabez Evans

4 David Davies

5 James Thompson

6 Saml Gray

7 And’w McNabb

8 James McCord

9 John Foster

10 Sam’l Simpson

11 Thomas Black

12 Wiliam Henry

13 John Manner [?]

14 John McFaddon

15 Wm. McElwee

McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790005

Rich’d Jones vs Phillip Henson. Case.

The Petty Jury

1 Robert Loony

2 Wm Lusk

3 Benj’a Rice

4 Sam’l Gray

5 John Potts

6 Robert Robertson

7 Rob’t Gordon

8 James McCord

9 Gilbert Watson

10 John Hampton

11 Wm Aken

12 James Moore

Jury Impanneled & Sworn the Plantiff being solemnly Called failed to prosecute and Suffered a Non pross.

Charles Purvians[?] vs Richd & Wm. Farr. Case. Same Jury. Jury Impanneled & sworn find for the Plff and assess his Damages to (pound sterling) 11 2 8 and /6 Costs.


Rich’d Price vs Ab’m Bogard. Case.

The Petty Jury

1 Robert Loony

2 Wm Lusk

3 Benj’a Rice

4 John Potts

5 Robert Robertson

6 Robert Gordon

7 James McCord

8 John Lewis

9 Gilbert Watson

10 John Hampton

11 James Moore

12 Nicholas Fisher

Jury Impanneled & sworn find for the Plff and assess his Damages to (pound sterling) 10 16 and /6 Costs.

Gasper Clute vs George Pariss. Case. Same Jury. Jury Impanneled & sworn find for the Plff and assess his Damages to (pound sterling)– 1d and /6 Costs.


Nicholas Fisher vs John Conner. Case.

The Petty Jury

1 Robert Loony

2 Wm Lusk

3 Benj’a Rice

4 John Potts

5 Robert Robinson

6 Robert Gordon

7 James McCord

8 John Lewis

9 Gilbert Watson

10 John Hampton

11 James Moore

12 John Davison

Jury Impanneled & Sworn find for the Plff and assess his Damages to (pound sterling)  9 & /6 Costs.

Francis Beaty vs John Elder. Case. Same Jury. Jury Impanneled & sworn find for the Plff and assess his Damages to (pound sterling) 8 12 10 & /6 Costs.

Francis Adams vs Henry Turner. Case. Same Jury. Jury Impanneled & sworn find for the Plff and assess his Damages to (pound sterling) 4 3 4 & /6 Costs.


McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790006

April term 1771

The King vs George Ison.

The Petty Jury

1 John Patton

2 James Witherow

3 Joseph Neel

4 Nath’l Clark

5 James Wilson

6 James Coburn

7 James Clinton

8 Garvin Black

9 James McCord

10 Jno Lusk

11 James Duff

12 Jno Woods

Jury Impanneled and Sworn find the Defendant Guilty in Manner & Form Charged in Bill of Indictment and Fine Forty Shillings prock.


McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790007



A Deed of Sale from James McCord to Francis Gaskins for 150 Acres of land Dated the sixteenth Day of February 1773 proved by Wm. Alston Evidence thereto. Ordered to be Registered.


McCords in Tryon County Minutes 1769-17790009

McCord, James 26,46,47,64,124. McCord, John 172.

If this James McCord was found in Tryon County at its formation from Mecklenburg County, does this mean that he will be found in the Mecklenburg records prior to 1769? I will presume that he had been in the area for a while since he was frequently on a jury list, and was a recognized member of the community.

And if nothing else, perhaps I can disprove that he is a member of my family, which would decrease the available pool of candidates…

McCords in Mecklenburg County Deed Abstracts, 1763-1779

March 15, 2017

From “Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts 1763-1779” by Brent H. Holcomb, C.A.L.S. and Elmer O. Parker.

McCord in Mecklenburg County Dee Abstracts0001


McCord in Mecklenburg County Dee Abstracts0002


From its formation in 1763 from Anson County, Mecklenburg included all North Carolina counties west of Anson and south of Rowan and all or portions of the present South Carolina counties of York, Chester, Lancaster, Spartanburg, Union, Cherokee, Kershaw, Laurens, Newberry and Greenville. The Indian line was surveyed in 1767, forming the western boundary of Mecklenburg County. Tryon County was formed in 1769, taking the territory west of the Catawba River. The North Carolina-South Carolina border was surveyed in 1772 cutting off present Lancaster and a portion of York County from Mecklenburg. These abstracts cover the entire period when Mecklenburg included such a large area,, and going on to 179–the first nine deed books. These were obviously compiled at a later time from smaller volumes. This explains the lack of chronological order by recording dates.

Originally, two volumes of abstracts of Mecklenburg deeds were planned. However, by the time the second volume was well under way, the first volume was out of print. The cost of soft cover offset printing has so closely approached that of hard binding that the present arrangement is more practical. In fairness to those who purchased Volume I, this volume is priced only slightly higher than Volume II would have been, and this provides the convenience of one index and binding instead of two With this volume, still another link in early Carolina frontier land titles is provided. With the use of Anson and Tryon deed abstracts, a thirty-year period of land transactions is now easily accessible.

My thanks to Mr. Elmer O. Parker for helping me with abstracts of Deed Books 5 and 6, and for providing the attractive maps in this edition.

Brent H. Holcomb, C.A.L.S.

Columbia South Carolina

May 29, 1978

McCord in Mecklenburg County Dee Abstracts0003

Pp. 199-202: 4 July 1766, Francs Beaty & wf Martha of Meck., “Dep. Collector &c,” to Robert McCord (lease s5, release (pound sterling) 45)…300 A on E side Cataba, both sides of Rolls Road, adj. David McCord’s, Killen’s, and Hugh Beaty’s…part of 640 A granted to Francis Beaty 21 Dec 1763..Francis Beatey (Seal), Martha Beatey (M) (Seal), Wit: David McCord, John Beatey.


Pp. 223-226: 4 & 5 July 1766, Francis Beatey & wf Martha of Meck., to David McCord…300 A on # side Catabaw River on the path leading from Mathew Pattons to the ford on the Tuckasegey including the Boyling Spring…on Killens line…part of 647 A granted to sd. Beatey 21 Dec 1763…Francis Beatey (Seal), Martha Beatey (M) (Seal), Wit: John Beatey, Robert McCord.

McCord in Mecklenburg County Dee Abstracts0004

Pp. 563-564: 4 Jan 1765, John Moore & wf Ann of Meck., to John Garvin for (pound sterling) 60, 580 A granted to sd. Moore 26 Mar 1755..on N side of a branch called by some Moores Creek…John Moore (Seal), Ann Moore (A) (Seal), Wit: William Dunlop, John Thomas, James McCord.


McCord in Mecklenburg County Dee Abstracts0005

McCiord,David 239

McCoord,Robert 240


Ann 173,181,191

David 8,9,173,178,181,191

James 63,87,89,91,145,193,209,24,234,246

James Jr. 163,224,226,234,241

James Sr. 163,226,241

John 83,124,125,144,239

Robert 8,9,75,181,191,194,224,233

Samuel Sr. 224

Sarah 341

Are David McCiord and Robert McCoord the same as David McCord and Robert McCord? Are James and John the same people that I have recently posted? And how are James, James Sr., and James Jr. linked together?

I clearly have more work to do…



The Wills of James & John McCord of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

March 13, 2017

McCordJames&John Wills Mecklenburg0001



1763-1790 (1749-1790)



McCordJames&John Wills Mecklenburg0002


Mecklenburg County was formed in 1763 from Anson County. At its formation it had no western boundary and an indeterminate southern boundary. It was bordered by Rowan County on the north and Anson County on the east. It therefore included the present North Carolina counties of Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Lincoln, Gaston, Rutherford and Polk (and other western counties not yet settled at the time) and all or part of the South Carolina counties of Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Chester, York and Lancaster. In 1764, the South Carolina border was surveyed east of the Catawba River, but the border west of the Catawba was not surveyed until 1772. In 1769, Tryon County was formed from the western part of Mecklenburg. (Tryon County was abolished in 1779, and Lincoln and Rutherford counties created).

Fortunately, most or perhaps all of the Mecklenburg county wills survive. The wills abstracts in this volume date from 1749-1790. In addition the extant returns of the Secretary of State (S.S. 884) of wills and estates probated are included. The testate and intestate estate papers are extant as well for Mecklenburg county, but it was not feasible to include these here since it would entail going through one hundred forty boxes of such papers. For the wills, both recorded copies and originals have been consulted, and where two copies exist, both references are given. The recorded copies appear to have been made much later than the originals, and have no order, chronological or alphabetical. As stated above, Mecklenburg County was not formed until 1763. Those wills prior to that year included here at first glance are perplexing. They are wills written when the territory was still Anson County, but probated or recorded after Mecklenburg was formed. These wills occasionally give clues as to former residence, especially Pennsylvania and Ireland. Unfortunately, many of these wills have no recording or proving dates. Those which we have are included, with the exception of some which might be found in the minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. A few wills were undated and those which lack also a recording date for this period of necessity were omitted.

This volume of abstracts should be used in conjunction with other published records of Mecklenburg County, particularly the “Mecklenburg County, N.C. Deed Abstracts 1763-1779” (published by Southern Historical Press). The records of Anson County and Tryon County will be useful in tracing many persons mentioned in these abstracts. These are available also in published form from Genealogical Publishing Company (Baltimore, Maryland) and Southern Historical Press respectively.

Brent H. Holcomb, C.A.L.S.

Columbia, South Carolina

January 1, 1980

McCordJames&John Wills Mecklenburg0003

Will of JAMES McCORD of the County of Mecklenburg being very sick … to my beloved wife [Catherine] the full third of my personal estate & to have the benefit of the land during her natural life, the choice of all my horses with her saddle, household furniture; to my daughter Jane, (pound sterling) 50 hard money over & above her half of my personal estate; to my son William the remainder of my personal estate with all my land at my wife’s death; my wife sole Extx…

5 Nov 1781

James M’Cord (1) (Seal)

Wit: John McCord, John Moore, William M’Leary

Proved January 1782

Wil Book B, p. 126

C.R. 065.801.20


Will of JOHN McCORD of the County of Mecklenburg, being in my ordinary health of body; to Robert Allison & John McRee, all my lands and improvements to sell and distribute the proceeds; to wife Mary McCord, one moiety or the full half; to John McCord, son of William McCord, (pound sterling) 10; to Robert McCord, one other son of sd.

McCordJames&John Wills Mecklenburg0004

Wiliam McCord, (pound sterling) 200; to John McCord, son of the above Robert McCord (pound sterling) 30; to John McCord, son of John McCord, Junr., (pound sterling) 5; to John Moore son of Garon (?) Moore; (pound sterling) 10; to Mary Ritchey, daughter of John Ritchey, (pound sterling) 10; to Agness Kennedy daughter of David Kennedy, (pound sterling) 3; to Isabella Diller (?) my wifes sisters daughter, (pound sterling) 10 she living in Kentuck; friends Robert Allison, & John McRee, exrs..  11 Sept 1786

John McCord (Seal)

Wit: William Huston, Jurat

Mary Huston

N. B. my negro man Dublin shall not be sold, but shall remain in my wifes possession….

Will Book B, pp. 127-128

C.R. 065.801.20

James McCord, Rowan County, Abstracts of the Deeds

March 13, 2017

More from Mrs. Stahle Linn, Jr., C.G., R.G.

McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850001McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850002


In this volume are abstracts of the first ten deed books of Rowan County, abstracted from the recorded deeds in the Rowan County Register of Deeds Office. Copies of pertinent deeds may be ordered from the Register of Deeds, County Office Building, 402 N. Main Street, Salisbury, N.C. 28144. The fee is in 1983 50c per page plus large SASE.

Many deeds were not recorded until years after the transaction took place. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that someone buying or selling property recorded his instrument at the time one might expect. The Rowan County deed indices are almost impossible to use, and a genealogist may be needed to explore the later records.

In Rowan County lie the earliest extant set of court records for the piedmont section of North Carolina; twenty–seven counties in North Carolina and all of Tennessee have been formed from the area that was once Rowan, an area who western boundary was the Pacific Ocean. For twenty-three years, Salisbury, the county seat, was the farthest west county seat in the Colonies.

Rowan County was formed from Anson County in 1753 and most of the early Anson records were lost to fire. Anson had been formed in 1750 from Bladen County, where many records were destroyed by fires in 1756 and 1893.

There has been no major loss of records in Rowan. However, in the Land Grant Office of the Secretary of State, Raleigh, N.C., are some early land grants that were not recorded in the county deed books.

Eighteenth century Rowan County prior to 1771 embraced the entire northwestern quarter of North Carolina. North Carolina was established as a proprietary colony when in 1663 King Charles II granted to eight supporters who had helped him regain the English throne the lands in the new world between the parallels of 31 degrees and 36 degrees north latitude. The land was extended in 1665 to 30 degrees north latitude, the present north Carolina-Virginia boundary. Under the Carolina Charters, the Lords Proprietors received, among other things, the right to grant lands, and the colony was under the control and leadership of the Lords Proprietors for more than sixty years. In 1728, seven of the original proprietary shares were sold to George II, and North Carolina became a crown colony.

One shareholder declined to sell: John Carteret or the Right Honourable John Earl Granville, Viscount Carteret and Baron Carteret, of Hawnes, in the County of Bedford, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, Lord President of his Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. Born in 1691, he had inherited one-eighth of Carolina in 1695.

The Granville District was a strip of land about sixty miles in depth bounded by the Virginia Line on the north, the southern border of Rowan on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west, roughly the upper half of present-day North Carolina. Granville was given the right and title to all vacant lands, and his land agents granted the lands and collected the rents and fees i his name. Much of the land in Rowan was granted by Francis Corbin and Thomas Child, agents of Granville. John Earl Granville died in 1763, never having seen his North Carolina lands, and the land office was closed due to difficulties concerning the Regulator Movement. The American Revolution intervened, wiping out all traces of feudalism, socage, and quitrents. All the Granville properties were confiscated by the state.

To further complicate the matter of real estate in the colony, Henry McCulloh, a merchant of London, was granted in 1737, 1,200,00 acres of land, some 450,000 of which lay within the Granville proprietary. For this reason, the researcher will find both Granville and McCulloh grants appearing in Rowan County prior to 1766 and the Revolution.

In late 1778 land offices were set up in the counties to grant land formerly held by Granville. One could locate for himself 640 acres of vacant and previously ungranted land with 100 acres for his wife and 100 acres for each minor child. The state land grants continued until 1959.

The procedure for obtaining land was the same, regardless of who granted it. A person found the land he wanted and made application to the land office; this application is called the “entry” which was a rough description of the property. A Warrant then was issued to the county surveyor to set apart the land that had been somewhat vaguely described in the entry, and he surveyed the tract and drew a plat of it with a metes and bounds description of the property. Metes and bounds descriptions use natural or man-made features of the land as the terminal points for boundary lines, such as “the stump on Williams’ line” or the “persimmon tree on the creek bank.” The plat was returned with the survey, and then the patent or deed was granted, once the necessary fees had been remitted, and the deed or patent was recorded.

McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850003

It should be noted that not all the so-called Granville grants appear in the recorded deeds of Rowan County nor in the Land Grant Office. Some appear in the North Carolina State Archives, 109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC. 27611. There is an indexed card file for these grants.

The importance of the use of land records in genealogical research can scarcely be overestimated, for most of the eighteenth century deeds give the entire chain of title and relationships are spelled out in exquisite detail. Divisions of estates, deeds of gift, and powers of attorney appear also in the recorded deeds.

In working with a county a large as original Rowan, it becomes necessary to determine the approximate location of the property so that one will know in which offshoot county to expect to find later records. Special note should be made of the watercourses mentioned in the deed and the names of the adjoining landowners. William S. Powell’s North Carolina Gazetteer will be a useful aid in determining into which present-day county the land fell.

In this volume of deed abstracts, a person’s mark is given in parentheses with his name; if no mark is shown, the reader may assume he signed. Place names of the principals are included where they are other than Rowan County; occasionally a county name, such as Mecklenburg, will be given, and there is no indication as to the state. Care has been taken to show alternate spellings of names within the deeds themselves, and the index makes cross references to aid the reader in finding the alternate spellings of the names. The index, because it became unwieldy, does not indicate the fact that a name may appear more than once on a page, so it behooves the careful researcher to peruse the entire page. Some names were impossible to decipher, and some names were written in German and could not be translated by this compiler. When a person signed in German, the fact is so noted.

Appreciation is expressed to Mrs. Lynne Michael of Salisbury Printing Company for her fine work in preparing the monumental index to these deeds, a tedious and exacting exercise, and to the personnel when the compiler took up residency there. Heaven forbid that there be any corrections or emandations, but such will be gratefully received by the compiler.

McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850005

McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850004

McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850006

9:578. 10 Oct. 1783. State Grant #418 @ 50 sh the 100 A to James McCord, 300 A n fork of Hunting Crk opposite the mouth of Fords branch adj Elsberry.


McCordJames Rowan County Abstracts of deeds 1753-17850007

9:620. 10 Oct. 1783. State Grant #334 @ 50 sh the 100 A to Thomas Young, 640 A on N side Hunting Crk adj James McCord, Christopher Harston, Houston & Bryant.