Friday, March 26, 2010

Richard Morrow's ironic connection with the Pattersons and Chastains

Richard Morrow was a man of means in the late 1700's and early 1800's. He bought and sold a large quantity of acreage over the years, in multiple locations. As far as I can tell, I am not related to him at all. However, I am connected to him by association in what seems to be an unusual way.

Richard received a NC grant (#800) for 100 acres in 1800 on a stream called Jenkins Branch, which is about 8 miles NW of Asheville, NC in Buncombe County. This was recorded in Buncombe Deed Book S1-6 on page 267, dated 1 Sept 1800. This was near lands already being lived on by my Pattersons, Blacks, Ponders, Harrisons, et al.

Then in January of 1802, Richard Morrow bought 790 acres from William Bryson (bk A pg 383) on the Tuckaseigee River (recorded 18 Sept 1807). This location is in modern day Jackson Co, but was Buncombe at the time, and very shortly thereafter, it was Haywood Co. Over the next few years, Richard Morrow obtained 5 more tracts on the same river, all land grants from NC totaling 650 more acres.

Having purchased land on the Tuckaseigee River in January 1802, Richard then sold his 100 acres on Jenkins Branch to my gggg-grandfather, John Patterson, on 2 August 1802 (Bk 4, pg 657). The witnesses for this sale were Daniel Ponder, James Morrow, and Andrew Patterson. Ponder was John's uncle; James Morrow is believed to have married John's daughter Elizabeth before 1810, but this is not yet proven; and Andrew Patterson's relation to John is yet unknown, but Andrew "may have been" John's nephew.

More importantly for the purposes of this paper, it should be noted that John Patterson's son, George Patterson, was born in 1800 in this general vicinity of Jenkins Branch. The relevance of this notation will be more apparent momentarily. This is where George grew up. George was my ggg-grandfather.

Back to Richard, we now see that he has made his move to what would soon become Haywood Co NC, along the Tuckaseigee River. We begin to learn that this land is on both sides of Caney Fork of Tuckaseigee River in 1807, when Richard began selling parts of it to various people, particularly members of the Chastain family. In March 1807, he sold 144 acres to Benjamin Chestine; then in September 1807 he sold 100 acres to Edward Chestain, and another tract (acreage unknown) to Elijah Chestain. In January 1810 he sold another tract to Eligah Chastain, and lastly he sold 50 acres to Abner Chastain in October 1815.

Both tracts he sold to Elijah Chastain were on Caney Fork. It should be noted that Elijah had a daughter named Rebecca Chastain who was born in 1799, making her eight years old when her dad bought his first tract of land from Richard Morrow. There is a Chastine Creek, a branch of Caney Fork, which is a branch of Tuckasegee River. Use this link for google maps, then switch to Terrain view. You can zoom out for perspective.

John Patterson, still in Buncombe, began selling the larger pieces of his land in 1815, the last 100 acres being sold in 1820 to James Black. An 1818 deed described John Patterson as "of Buncombe"; however, this 1820 deed showed he was then "of Haywood", thus having moved sometime between 1818 and 1820. John bought a tract of land on the Pigeon River in 1824, but nothing else is known as to where he lived in the meantime (perhaps on the land he bought?). The Pigeon River flows north through Waynesville, NC and up into Tennessee. West of there and over the next mountain range, is the Tuckasegee River, which flows north through Sylva, NC and up into Tennessee. At this time, I'm not sure how the Chastains and Pattersons met up, but apparently they did.

Around this time, perhaps no later than 1825 but as early as 1822 possibly, love was in the air, leading to a marriage between George Patterson and Rebecca Chastain. Obviously, they met each other in Haywood County (both locations were then in Haywood), they fell in love, got married, and perhaps their oldest child (or two) were born in Haywood. By 1827 or so they moved south into Georgia, where they were enumerated on the 1830 census (Rabun Co). By 1834 they were in Union County Ga, just north of modern day Blairsville, on the east bank of Nottley Lake (which didn't exist then).

So, what is the ironic connection? Most people would never care, but for those of us who descend from George and Rebecca, it is interesting to note that George grew up on Jenkins Branch in Buncombe Co on land his father bought in 1802 from Richard Morrow. Likewise, Rebecca grew up on Caney Fork in Buncombe / Haywood Co on land her father bought in 1807 from the same man - Richard Morrow.

Thanks, Richard! Thanks for providing the land for the childhood homes of my ggg-grandparents! That's pretty ironic to me - some 200 years later.

Wes Patterson
26 March 2010


  1. My father's side of the family has roots in Asheville. They still have a small parcel of land that was once a horse farm in Buncombe Co. and it's on a stream. His grandfather owned the land. His last name was Murphy, so if you find anything, let me know.

  2. You may be interested in:


Popular Posts (Most Viewed)