Monday, April 24, 2017

Location of Clarks Fork Tracts in York Co SC

Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek, York Co SC

CFBC Home  |  Robert Patterson Sr  |  Cravens & John Patterson

By Wes Patterson

Last Updated: 2018-01-22 (Originally published: 2017-04-24)

Modern day York Co SC contains the location where my ancestors (Pattersons, Blacks, Harrisons, et al) lived during the 1760's through the early 1800's. It was originally known as Craven Co SC, then it was claimed by NC during the 1760's and 70's under the counties of Anson, then Mecklenburg, then Tryon. Once the boundary line was re-surveyed west of the Catawba River, it was deemed that this location was indeed within SC, and it was designated under the newly formed York County. For decades, it was also known as Camden District, which included many surrounding counties.

Bullocks Creek is one of the main tributaries of the Broad River in this northern county. One of the main forks of Bullocks Creek is Clarks Fork, on the west side of Bullocks Creek. Both run north to south. Bullocks Creek starts east of Kings Mountain, while Clarks Fork starts within the modern boundaries of the Kings Mtn State Park. As Clarks Fork flows south, it passes near the town of Smyrna, SC.

From Smyrna to Kings Mtn is a stretch of land that was heavily settled during the 1760's and later decades. This is ground zero for my Pattersons, and their relatives, the Harrisons, Blacks, Cravens, Ponders, et al. While I'm not sure whether or not I descend from the Cravens or Ponders, I know I descend from the Pattersons, Blacks, and Harrisons.

Over the last several years, Harald Reksten and I have obtained many land records. Harald's efforts have been quite comprehensive. This includes grants, warrants, plats, and deeds - from both NC and SC - covering this Clarks Fork region. There are hundreds of records in question, and I recently narrowed the list down to a few hundred. In particular, I am concentrating on about 45 or 50 key tracts of land, and following the chain of title from one owner to the next as best I can.

This is an on-going process, but it seems I have at least half, if not 2/3 of the plats in question already. I will soon be ordering the remaining plats, so that I can plot all of these tracts of land in my Deedmapper program. My attempt will be to isolate precisely where these key families lived. More to come on this later.

For now, the key families I'm hoping to plot are as follows:
  1. Robert and Sarah Patterson (Sr)
  2. Thomas and Margaret Harrison Patterson
  3. Nathaniel and Rachel Harrison
  4. Peter Patterson
  5. Robert and Mabel Patterson (Jr)
  6. Daniel and Elizabeth Patterson Ponder (Jr)
  7. Joseph and Sarah Patterson Black
  8. Matthew and Margaret Ponder Black
  9. Robert and Magy Cravens Black
  10. Robert Cravens (William Cravens, James Patterson, John Patterson)
  11. William Wilson
  12. Gowen Black
  13. William McElwee
  14. Jeremiah Cravens
  15. Robert & Samuel Swann
  16. Robert Love
I will build in links to new pages for each person above as more information becomes clear.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bellinger Family 1810 Papers

By Wes Patterson

Last revised 13 April 2017

In 1810, George Bellinger wrote down the family legacy going back to the late 1600's - to Edmund Bellinger, 1st Landgrave of South Carolina. Some years ago, those original 1810 documents miraculously ended up in our family's possession. I had seen the transcription of these records online many times, but to now have the originals in our possession, quite unexpectedly, was a pleasant surprise. 

The following pictures were taken by me of these papers. There are three or four pages of the notes that were written in 1810. Subsequent pages were added to the record throughout the 1800's by other members of the family, including the Bellingers and Beaumonts who moved to Texas in the mid 1800's.

For more information on my wife's lineage to the Bellingers see my page on the Bellinger Family.

Here are the pictures from the 1810 notes. Click on each image to view a larger version of it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Patterson-Harrison Farms on Jenkins Branch, Buncombe Co NC

The Patterson and Harrison Farms on Jenkins Branch, West Side of French Broad River near Alexander, NC - Buncombe County

By Wes Patterson

Last Revised 06 April 2018

The Harrisons, Blacks, Pattersons, Ponders, and other families that had previously lived in Burke Co NC and York Co SC, began moving in the 1790's into the part of Buncombe Co NC that is about 8 to 10 miles NW of Asheville near the modern town of Alexander. This area is on the west side of the French Broad River along the tributaries known as Turkey Creek, Sandy Mush Creek, Jenkins Branch, and Newfound Creek. Many of these families also attended Newfound Baptist Church which began officially around 1802/03 and currently exists at the town of Leicester, NC.

Click to see larger view

Some of the early families to settle here were the Harrisons, Blacks, and Morrows. The Pattersons followed in the late 1790's and the Ponders arrived in the late 1790's or soon after 1800. 

The Harrisons were made up of about three or four distinct families that moved into Buncombe, that traced their roots back to siblings who lived in York Co SC during the 1760's through the 1780's and 90's. These siblings were Nathaniel Harrison, Thomas Harrison, and their sisters Margaret and Jane. Nathaniel was married to Rachel, and he passed away in 1783 in York Co SC. His son Joseph Harrison later moved into Buncombe, however. Thomas Harrison had a large family and they moved into Buncombe as well. Margaret Harrison married Thomas Patterson on 24 Dec 1761 in Augusta Co VA at the Peaked Mountain Church, not long before they moved to York Co SC, where they in turn had at least two sons (John and Robert Patterson) who later settled in Buncombe on Jenkins Branch and Turkey Creek, respectively. Jane Harrison married William Cravens. It is possible that some of their family moved into Buncombe, but nothing has been proven in that regard. But there was a James Cravens who recorded a land entry for 150 acres in 1794 "...on a big branch that runs in between Newfound Creek and Turkey Creek." That could have been Jenkins Branch. The Harrisons can trace their roots back to the Isaiah Harrison clan of Long Island NY, Sussex Co DE, and Augusta Co VA.

The Blacks were made up of two primary branches of the family from York Co SC. Matthew Black may have either been a son of Matthew and Mary Black, or perhaps grandson. If the latter, he was a son of Robert Black and Majey Cravens (whose mother was a Harrison). Matthew Black (the younger) married Margaret Ponder, daughter of Daniel and Jemima Ponder. Matthew Black's family later moved to Burke Co NC and then later down to Buncombe. The other branch of the Blacks was of the Joseph Black family, brother to the afore-mentioned Robert Black. Joseph Black married Sarah Patterson, sister of Thomas Patterson. They had several children, including a daughter Margaret, who married John Patterson, son of Thomas. This entire clan moved to Buncombe as well. Key members of the Black clan in Buncombe included George, Robert, and Joseph - sons of Joseph; also, their cousins - sons of Matthew - including John, Reuben, Daniel, another Joseph, another Matthew. A James Black was also in Buncombe by the 1810's and he was another of this overall clan of Blacks from York Co SC.

The Ponders not only included Margaret who married Matthew Black, but also brother Jesse Ponder, and brother Daniel Ponder Jr - who married Elizabeth Patterson, another sister of Thomas Patterson. 

The Morrows are a little harder to identify, but there were several Morrow families. Richard Morrow sold land to John Patterson early on and moved further west into Haywood Co NC and then later to KY. A Sarah Morrow married James Patterson, son of Peter. And a James Morrow married Elizabeth Patterson, who seems to have been a daughter of Peter.

So the branches of the Patterson family included Sarah Patterson who married Joseph Black, plus Thomas Patterson who married Margaret Harrison, plus Elizabeth Patterson who married Daniel Ponder Jr, plus Peter Patterson's children and grandchildren. Peter died in York Co SC, but his children soon thereafter moved to Buncombe and then later Haywood Co NC.

Click to see larger view

The map above is of the area around modern day Alexander, NC in Buncombe Co. The French Broad River is on the right. The gray shaded area is a tract of 16,000 acres that was obtained by Joseph Hughey that had previously been part of 55,000 acres owned by Mitchell & Davidson. Joseph Hughey was the first 
Sheriff of Buncombe, beginning 1792. However, he resigned his post as Sheriff in 1795, and his brother James Hughey became the new Sheriff of Buncombe. It is important to know where this tract lies as its southern line is constantly referred to in old Buncombe deeds as Mitchell's & Davidson's line. This helps us pinpoint the approximate locations of several tracts involving key members of these families. On Sept 25, 1797 (Book 5, Page 179), James Hughey as High Sheriff sold this tract of 16,000 acres to Joseph Hughey at a public sale due to unpaid taxes for the year of 1796. Joseph Hughey was the highest bidder at the auction. This deed was proven in open court in April of 1801. I can only suppose that Thomas Patterson had some agreement with Hughey that fell through and thus it was sold by Hughey in 1804.

Thomas Harrison owned 100 acres (Tract #1) next to Richard Morrow (
Tract #2). Morrow later sold his 100 acres to John Patterson (presumed nephew of Thomas Harrison) in 1802. Tract #3 was owned by Ezekiel Sandlin who was a son-in-law of Peter Patterson it seems. Sandlin was from York Co SC also, and he apparently led the migration of the Peter Patterson clan. In 1807 he sold Tract #3 to his brother-in-law James Patterson (m. Sarah Morrow). 

Thomas Patterson owned Tract #4. He was here in 1800 but no acquisition of the land has been found. Joseph Hughey later sold Thomas' land in 1804, so it had passed into Hughey's possession for some reason. I am not certain if Thomas was buying it from Hughey and then somehow defaulted on it, or died leaving debts? That said, there were at least four subsequent deeds over the next 20 years involving Tract #4 that made reference to "Thomas Patterson's improvement", but what that improvement was is unclear. Was it a home? A public road? 

George Black first obtained Tract #5 and then a year later sold it to his cousin Reuben Black, who then sold the same 170 acres to John Patterson in 1805. John's wife was Margaret Black, sister of George Black and cousin of Reuben.

There were several other relatives who owned tracts of land in the vicinity and I am still working to pinpoint the exact location of those tracts, including Daniel Ponder's two tracts and Robert Patterson's Turkey Creek tract. However, the five tracts shown above are very close to their exact locations, and all five were owned by families who were somehow related to one another.

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