Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brook Ferry Rd and Stewarts Ferry

Emails from Bev Hamel today:

"...Anyway - there was a road called Brook Ferry Road - ca 1770's named so after Matthew Brooks - (aka Moravian so called Bruxe) and ended by what was once Stewart and/or Gentry Ferry. Matthew Brooks was one of the first Senators for NC too - I don't think Deb or Wes know this - but I think they are getting close with the land and deeds - oh and Brooks was also connected to Daniel Boone..."

and then also,

Hi Wes - I happen to be looking at a 1927 map when what to my wandering eyes should appear, but a name - Brookstown directly located in the vicinity of Brookberry farm - the roads are not named but I think Robinhood, Peacehaven and Shattalon as well as Meadowlark. However up till the early 1900s there was road called Brookstown Road and part of this still exists as Brookstown Ave. Then I went to the Forsyth Cty Historical Assoc which I recently joined, and attached you will find a 1898 map which shows Brookstown Road (formerly Brook Ferry Road still intact and ending no less at Conrad's Ferry - there is also a Glenn's Ferry and both might contend for Stewart Ferry (aka Stuart and Stuard) - Both Stewarts and Gentrys married Brooks women."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brookberry Farm Deed Mapping

To date I have uncovered about 25 deeds that made up Brookberry Farm. As I have been mapping out those tracts on my Deed Mapper program I have discovered a couple "holes" in my overall "deed map" of the farm.

Using some maps of the farm online (official Brookberry Farm site map and Rezoning Request and Map) has helped me realize there may be a few more smaller tracts on the perimeter than I was previously aware of. I will need to investigate that further. According to the farm's official site, it is an 800-acre farm currently. Of course, that does not include the land that was sold to the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School system, which currently houses Meadowlark Elementary and Middle Schools. So this farm truly may have been 850-900 acres in its prime.

I am currently mapping out the northern tracts and have run into a couple snags. In some of these older deeds (early and mid 1900's), errors were made in surveying - I have discovered - and those errors in the boundary descriptions were carried from one deed of sale to the next. I have had to trace them back several sales in some cases to find an older deed for the same tract to find the correct dimensions for said tract.

Once I finish mapping the deeds in my possession, I'll search for the remaining tracts that I have apparently missed. Once that is complete, I'll then begin the "full steam ahead" research on tracing these tracts back to their original owners from the 1700's. I've actually already begun that a few weeks ago and have already discovered some very interesting details. But I'll save them for later.

By the way, an excellent site is "Captivated by Mandie", which is her blog from 2004-2005 when the initial housing development began on the farm. And of course, Bo Gray's blog is a tremendous resource for pictures and anecdotal details about the farm "from the inside" - inside the Gray family, that is.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deed Mapping Goals: Stewarts Creek

I have recently purchased (thanks to Debbie McCann) the software called DeedMapper 4.0 which allows me to map out the boundaries of deeds and plot them on maps. I have already begun the process of mapping the deeds for Brookberry Farm (Bowman Gray Farm) using the deeds from 1946 - 1960's.

My two main goals for this project are 1) to map out the tracts of Brookberry Farm and trace them back to the original owners, and 2) to map out the tracts along the greater Stewarts Creek area and likewise, trace them back to the original owners.

Goal #1 is for helping Debbie McCann with her book project. It's a lot of fun and I really enjoy doing this with and for her. Goal #2 is for my personal interest in finding the original tracts for Samuel Stewart Sr and his sons, David and Samuel, as well. Goal #1 may or may not help me find the Stewarts' tracts - I don't think it will directly, but indirectly it most certainly will as it gives me the foundation for expanding to the rest of Stewarts Creek.

Here are the steps to reaching both of these goals:
  1. Map the Brookberry Farm tracts (1940's - 1960's)
  2. Make a new map for Brookberry Farm (BBF) that is one tract to use later on other maps as a referential overlay.
  3. Trace these tracts back to the original owners.
  4. 1850's map of BBF tracts.
  5. 1750's map of BBF tracts.
  6. Expand 1950's map to cover all of Stewarts Creek - the southern portion includes everything b/w Country Club Rd/Shallowford Rd and Robinhood Rd, and also b/w Lewisville-Vienna Rd and Muddy Creek. The northern portion includes everything b/w Robinhood Rd and Yadkinville Hwy, and also b/w Lewisville-Vienna Rd and Olivet Church Rd.
  7. 1850's map of Stewarts Creek tracts.
  8. 1750's map of Stewarts Creek tracts.

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