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.

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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.

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