Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stewart Timeline

The following records are in chronological order and serve as an event timeline related to the Stewart Clan in North Carolina.

*** The links below are broken, but the images for those can be found here. ***

The Yadkin River flows east and then south. That location is known as East Bend, for obvious reasons. Just below the east bend there is a creek flowing west called Hughes Creek, and at later times it was known by other names, including Miller Creek. This appears to be where Samuel and Lydia Stewart obtained a tract of land at some point, which Lydia referred to in her 1771 will. Then flowing east from that same general part of the Yadkin (but a little further south) is "Bathsheba" Creek, aka Bersheba aka Bashavia Creek. There and south is where Samuel Stewart apparently owned 508 acres entered in 1753 (grant issued 1757), as well as his sons David and Samuel Jr. Further to the east of that is Stewarts Creek where Samuel's son, David owned land beginning 1781. The Great Wagon Road crossed Stewarts Creek, at approximately where the creek crosses modern day Robinhood Rd at Chickasha Rd. South of that is Gorgales Creek, aka Muddy Creek.

  1. 1747 (Jan 21), "David Stuart & Abigal Herrison, adult persons baptized after profession of faith and obedience." This was the record of baptism of David Stewart and his future wife, Abigail Harrison, recorded and baptized by Rev Craig of Augusta Co, Va. This also shows that David Stewart was still in Va at the time.

Original Owners of Brookberry Farm Tracts

I can say with significant certainty that the original owners (recipients of Granville or NC Land Grants) of the tracts that made up what later became Brookberry Farm under the purchases of Bowman and Gordon Gray in the mid 1900s, are:

1) The Moravians Wachovia Tract (1753 - almost 99,000 acres), as much as 175+ acres later fell under the Brookberry Farm boundaries (Reid tract, eastern parts of Hartley and McCants tracts).

2) John Hauser (3 Apr 1780 - 600 acres), 235+ acres became Brookberry (Tise, Shoaf, Peacock, Webster, and Shutt tracts, including the Bowman Gray mansion). This John Hauser was the son of Michael Hauser, Sr., and therefore a grandson of Martin Hauser, Sr.

3) Henry Holder (3 Apr 1780 - 200 acres), 100+ acres became Brookberry (Bingham and Brandon tracts, plus the western part of McCants and eastern part of Beck tracts).

4) Michael Carver (13 Oct 1783 - 600 acres), as much as 75+ acres became Brookberry (Boggs and Vogler tracts, southern half of Ketner tracts).

5) James Gordon (3 Nov 1784 - 350 acres), as much as 100+ acres became Brookberry (Northern half of Ketner tracts and western half of Beck tract).

Brookberry Farm at it's height included as much as 900+ acres. At least 800 of that if not all of it can be accounted for in the above 5 original land grants. I am still working on the exact positions of some of these original grants, thus the reason for not being able to be more conclusive on the acreage of each grant that falls under the Brookberry Farm boundaries. That will come in time, however.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gentry's Branch and the James Gordon Grant

The following map is a small excerpt from a Judy Cardwell map where she has plotted the 1784 NC land grant to James Gordon (modern day Forsyth Co, NC). The actual location of the plot may be off a little one direction or the other, but Judy has done an excellent job in getting these old land grants very close to their actual location. So, until this is proven to be off, I'm running with it as she has plotted it.

image no longer available
I am in the process of tracing modern tracts which are anchored to modern roads and boundaries, and therefore I should eventually be able to accurately place this tract in its exact location (and Judy may already have it there, mind you).

Notice Meadowlark Rd at the far right as it runs north into Robinhood Rd. The latter road runs west across the northern section of the Gordon grant and continues another couple miles west to the Yadkin River. There are three (3) main branches that intersect within Gordon's tract. One from the north, one from the northwest, and one from west, all joining together and flowing south through the southeast corner of Gordon's tract.

Not too distant south from Gordon the fourth branch (to the right) also flows into this creek known as Stewarts Creek, eventually dumping into Muddy Creek about a mile (or less) south of Gordon's tract, having traversed Brookberry Farm in the process. All of these branches are part of Stewarts Creek, but are there other names for these branches? The following map may help you get a better idea of where this tract was. The northern edge of it is along Robinhood Rd at Chickasha Rd.

View Larger Map (Click and drag map to move around)

I believe the branch coming down from the northwest of Gordon's tract to be Gentry's Branch. The following details will help explain why.

When this 350 acre grant was issued to James Gordon on 3 Nov 1784 this location was situated in Surry Co NC. It was later in Stokes County once it was formed in 1789, and then Forsyth County beginning 1849.

Gordon didn't keep this tract long, as it was sold by Gordon's heir to George Lash just two months later on 2 Jan 1785. George Lash (Loesch) was the brother of Jacob Lash and was also the father of Nathaniel Lash. While on the subject of family connections, it should be noted that Nathaniel Lash married Aggie Brooks, daughter of Matthew Brooks Sr. Nathaniel and Aggie Brooks Lash are both buried on Brookberry Farm, not far to the southeast of this Gordon tract.

Continuing with the history of this tract, George Lash divided it into two sections, which later are described as 165 acres and 195 acres, which doesn't equal 350, but welcome to the world of metes and bounds! In 1788 George Lash sold 165 acres to George Hauser, who in turn sold it to William Alford in 1792.

This 1792 deed is important for several reasons. From it we learn that it was described as being on "Gentry's Branch of Muddy Creek", and that it also bordered Henry Holder's SW corner and Jacob Null's line. It also points out that it was part of 350 ac. granted to James Gordon 3 Nov 1784, that it passed from Seth Gordon heir of sd James Gordon to George Lash 22 Jan 1785, and from George Lash to George Hauser 20 Feb 1788. The witnesses of this 11 Sept 1792 sale to Alford were Abm. Steiner and Laughlin (X) Flin.

14 July 1797, William Alford sold two tracts to Matthew Brooks. One was 100 acres sold to Alford on 23 July 1791 from Samuel Soward (Seward); the other tract was for "175" acres on Gentry's Branch, previously obtained from George Hauser on 11 Sept 1792. Here we go with Matthew Brooks again. There are dozens of deeds that need to be meticulously scanned to determine when and to whom Brooks disposed of this property.

Some people have listed Soward as Seward, but many of the deeds involving him list him as "Soward". However, his name WAS Samuel Seward. He and his family were intermarried multiple times with the Billiter family. Samuel Seward was even a granduncle of William Henry Seward of "Seward's Folly" fame... supposedly. As for Alford, get ready for this... We've seen Alford listed as Olford, but in this 1791 deed where Soward sold the 100 acres to him, he is listed as William Elford two or more times, and then later in the same deed he's listed multiple times as William Elrod - a name I've seen many times before. So, William Alford is the same person as Elrod, Elford, Olford. My goodness!

The 1791 Soward to Elford deed (Stokes, Bk 1 Pg 319) describes this 100 acre tract as being on "Lashes, otherwise called Stewarts Branch". It also described it as being the westernmost half of a 200 acre NC grant to Henry Holder (east of the Gordon grant), who conveyed the 100 acres to Wintle Krouse, who in turn conveyed it to Samuel Soward.

But what about the other "195" acres? In 1806 (Stokes Co Deeds, Bk 5 Pg 83), Nathaniel Lash sold 195 acres to John Doub, described as being on Gentry's Branch of Muddy Creek, and having passed from George Lash to Nathaniel Lash. It goes on to describe it as "beginning at a white oak formerly Carver's corner", then it runs south along Carver's line, then east to a former corner of George Hauser, then it runs north along Hauser's line to another corner of Hauser in Jacob Null's line, then comes back west and south to More's corner and then "Olford's" corner. (John Doub sold this 195 acre tract to Jacob Doub in 1808. Haven't found any further sale as of yet.)

So clearly we're dealing with another part of the same 350 acres given the common names within the boundaries of both tracts. Given that Carver is to the southwest, I am confident in Judy Cardwell's placement of the Gordon grant, relative to the other surrounding grants. This placement leads me to believe, then, that the northwest branch of Stewarts Creek is known as Gentry's Branch. If anyone has any evidence to refute or substantiate this claim I would certainly appreciate hearing from you. Thank you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

John Hauser 600 acre Grant

Thanks to Judy Cardwell for sharing the info with me concerning John Hauser's 600 acre NC Land Grant on 3 April 1780. I will not post her map online since I do not have her permission to do so. I'd rather wait and finish working up my own maps anyway. But I certainly appreciate Judy's providing this info to me. Her work is very important for the history of Forsyth County.

Other tracts from the 1770s and 80s in the southern half of the Stewarts Creek watershed, according to Judy's map, include the following:

  • Henry Holder, 200 acres, 3 Apr 1780 (same day as Hauser)
  • Michael Carver, 600 acres, 13 Oct 1783
  • John Lyon, 200 acres, 3 Nov 1784
Lyon bordered Hauser on the SW side, Holder to the north, and Carver was to the west of Hauser. Judy doesn't have the Carver and Hauser tracts connected, however. I don't believe they were connected, either. However, I do think that Hauser's tract, as well as Holder's and Lyon's, would have been a little further west based on mid 20th century deeds I've traced back to Hauser.

Mid 20th century deeds indicate that Leonard Ketner's lands would have been the long vertical "gap" between Carver's tract and Hauser's tract. Ketner Rd runs through the western edge of Ketner's old tracts, plus some other tracts to the west in some places. I still have a lot of research and mapping to do to show this, however.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Brookberry Farm Deed Mapping

The main 200 acre tract in the center of the farm (includes the Gray mansion, and the southern half of the developed area, and everything south from there), can definitively be traced back to an original land grant from the state of NC to John Hauser. I confirmed this conclusively on 22 Jan 2010.

John Hauser's grant (still need more details on it, but this much I do know) contained about 600 acres. After his death in the late 1700's his land was devised to his heirs, who in turn sold the 3 tracts of 200 acres each to various parties. The northern most 200 acre tract was sold to Matthew Brooks (possibly "Jr") in 1799 (Stokes Deed Book 3 Page 227). This includes the land from Hundley Rd at the back side of Meadowlark Downs, running north behind Meadowlark Downs to Brookberry Farm Rd. From there it runs west all the way to the Gray mansion and just a little west of that (but not all the way to Ketner Rd, however). Then it runs south to a point even with Hundley Rd and then back east to the backside of Meadowlark Downs.

The above tract contained 200 (actually about 204.75) acres.

Also in 1799, another 200 acre tract on the SOUTH side of Brooks' tract was sold to Samuel Vest (Stokes Deed Book 3 Page 202). Beauchamp Rd runs into the heart of that tract. The southern line of this tract, however, ran a little north of Country Club Rd.

Ten years prior to this, in 1789, the other 200 acre tract was sold to Christian Hauser (Stokes Deed Book 1 Page 52). This tract is south of Vest's tract and crossed over Country Club Rd and encompassed Lewisville Motor Company, etc.

As for Matthew Brooks, he sold his 200 acres to Nathaniel Lash (probably his brother-in-law) on 19 Feb 1802 (Stokes Deed Book 4 Page 149). The cemetery where Nathaniel Lash, and his wife Aggie Brooks Lash, are buried is located in the NW section of this very same tract of land, originally owned by John Hauser.

Debbie... you live on this tract of land, by the way.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Old Forsyth

Forsyth County NC was formed in 1849 from the southern half of Stokes. As early as the 1740s it was part of Anson Co, then Rowan, then Surry, Stokes and finally Forsyth.

The history of what is now northern Forsyth Co, particularly north and northwest Forsyth, has become a hobby of mine in recent years. The following are some excellent resources for researching the NW and northern parts of Forsyth Co.

Judy Cardwell has some excellent documentation on her website of the old wagon roads and deeds plotted (and overlaid) on modern maps. Two pages of particular interest to me are her pages on Charles Vest Sr and Some Early Wagon Roads of Northwestern Forsyth County. Judy has put a tremendous amount of research into her work and has been super gracious in sharing her research.

Another excellent resource is Kay Haden's site concerning Gideon and Hezekiah Wright. Kay has tons of research notes available, especially on the pages under the link "Descendants of ??? Wright" (the father of Gideon and Hezekiah).

A wonderful book by Beverly Hamel on the history of Bethania covers a myriad of historical issues from the mid 1700's to date, using the Moravian diaries, and many other resources. Her book is entitled Bethania: The Village by the Black Walnut Bottom, and is available at (follow the link).

Two excellent resources for researching deeds are the Forsyth Co Register of Deeds and the Stokes Co Register of Deeds. Both have their deeds imaged and available online.

Another good map is of the old Wachovia Tract, placed in modern Forsyth County.

Another good map (thanks to Bev Hamel for pointing it out to me) is the 1770 Collet Map of NC. This is stored online and you can zoom in and out.

Surry County NC Wills 1771-1827 by Jo White Linn is a good resource to have.

I'm sure there are many more online resources, but I'll start with these and add more as they become evident.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Still here....

Been a busy holiday season plus work has picked up the last week or so. I'm still here and kickin', just behind on some of my research endeavors. I should be getting back to documenting my research here soon. I've been working on some book ideas and getting ready to start on phase 2 of the Brookberry Farm / Stewarts Creek deed mapping project.

More later...

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