Monday, April 24, 2017

Location of Clarks Fork Tracts in York Co SC

Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek, York Co SC

By Wes Patterson

Last Revised: 2017-06-16 (Original Post: 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, et al. While I'm not sure whether or not I descend from the Cravens, 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:
  • Robert and Sarah Patterson
  • Thomas and Margaret Harrison Patterson
  • Nathaniel and Rachel Harrison
  • Peter Patterson
  • Robert and Mabel Patterson
  • James Patterson
  • Daniel and Elizabeth Patterson Ponder (Jr)
  • Joseph and Sarah Patterson Black
  • Matthew and Margaret Ponder Black
  • Robert and Magy Cravens Black
  • Robert Cravens (William Cravens)
  • William Wilson
  • James Wilson
  • Gowen Black
  • William McElwee
  • James McElwee
  • Jesse Ponder
  • Jeremiah Cravens
  • Robert Swann
  • Samuel Swann
There are other key families to plot as well, but only in the sense of documenting proximity. No known relationships to those families have been found as yet.

June 16, 2017 Update:

Over the last three months I have worked to catalog and index about 45 primary tracts of land along Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek. I have about 30 plats to work from, and 21 of them I have mapped into Deedmapper thus far, but several were based on error-ridden plats. So I have identified some 40 or so deeds and plats that I need to pull at the SC Archives, which will happen tomorrow. From those, I hope to more clearly and accurately map where these tracts were up and down Clarks Fork, along Pattersons Creek, Lick Branch, etc.

The following information was an email I sent to Harald this week regarding my current progress in mapping out the Patterson tracts of land, specifically in regards to Robert Patterson Sr., who died in York Co SC in 1775.

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We've discussed many times the subject of the disposition of Robert Patterson's lands on Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek (CFOBC) in York Co SC. I am tracking about 45 or so specific tracts along Clarks Fork - some of which are overlapping. Nonetheless, I believe I am getting much closer to determining what happened to his land - at least over time. All of this is very near Smyrna, SC and just south of Kings Mtn Military and State Parks.

Robert (d.1775) had two known tracts - the 200 ac tract he was granted in 1767 from NC, and the 150 ac tract he inherited from his son James Patterson, formerly owned by Robert Cravens Jr.

I am continuing to plot these tracts in Deedmapper. I still have a ways to go, but currently have over 20 of these in so far. Another 8-10 should be in over the next few days. But there are another 40+ records (38 deeds, 2 grants, and 3 plats) that I need to obtain from the SC archives. Many of these deeds are subsequent transfers of ownership of existing tracts I've already plotted. But in many cases, I need clearer descriptions. So here's hoping later deeds pertaining to these tracts will be clearer and more accurate.

I am travelling this coming Saturday (Friday pm actually) to Columbia, SC and will spend several hours on Sat at the archives collecting these 43 or so records.

For now, however, here is my current interpretation of what I've found regarding Robert's land. His two tracts on my index are #1 (200 ac) and #8 (150 ac).

Robert's 200 ac tract (#1) appears to have been divided into thirds after his death in 1775 -- 62 ac (1A), and 70 ac (1B), and 68 ac (1C). 

1A (62 ac) can be found in son Peter's possession as he sold this in 1797 to Malcolm Henry (E-502). The description from when Malcolm Henry sold it in 1801 (G-423) makes it clear that this was land originally granted to Robert Patterson, decd and on both sides of Clarks Fork and also crosses Pattersons Branch (which I believe to be modern day Biggers Branch), and also adjacent Ponder. The description also has some similar features to that described in Robert's 1775 will. I think it is likely that this may have been the part that was left to son William, but instead passed to Peter. Presumption is that William either died during the Revolution, or left the area never to return.

1B (70 ac) appears to be the adjoining tract to 1A where it was "adjacent Ponder". According to G-471 in 1813, Daniel Ponder sold this tract of 70 ac to Peter Galloway, and it described it as part of a survey granted to Robert Patterson and conveyed by him to Thomas Patterson (father of John and my ancestor) and later conveyed by him to Daniel Ponder (son-in-law of Robert Patterson Sr). So this tells me that this tract passed from Robert d 1775 to his son Thomas, originally - and then later he sold to Daniel Ponder.

1C (68 ac) is trickier to detect and has always caused confusion. But I think I may have found the missing links - at least some of them. According to H-163 John Watson sold 318 acres to Thomas Whitesides in 1816. I have been able to determine that this includes multiple tracts, including a 150 ac tract that Robert Patterson (Jr) obtained in 1765, plus a 100 ac tract that Robert Patterson (Jr) obtained in 1793. This leaves 68 acres, the third tract included in this 1816 deed. That is the precise amount that is missing from Robert Sr's 200 ac grant. This 1816 deed also describes the boundary tracts, which includes Ponders corner, and then says it (meaning the 318 acres in this 1816 deed) is made up of "Daniel Ponder and Robert Patterson old tracts". I take this to mean the 150 ac and 100 ac tracts of Robert Jr just described, and that leaves the 68 acres that would have been Daniel Ponder, by elimination. In other words this 68 ac also ended up in the hands of Daniel Ponder, like 1B did. However, I wouldn't be surprised if 1C actually went first to Robert Jr and that he conveyed it to Daniel, but it doesn't actually say that so we can't assume that. All we know for sure is that it eventually went to Daniel. Another possibility is that it could have gone to Joseph Black. Remember the 1775 Will said something about leaving what is "between me and Joseph" to his daughter Sarah whom we know to have been the wife of Joseph Black. Did this 68 ac pass to Sarah and then later to Daniel Ponder?

So at this time I believe Robert Sr's 200 acres was divided into thirds and they went to Peter, Thomas, and maybe Robert or Sarah or Daniel (Elizabeth). Peter held onto 1A until 1797, but 1B and 1C wound up in Daniel Ponders hands fairly early on I suspect, by the 1780's at least. Ponder sold 1B in 1813, and it is unclear when he sold 1C but Watson was already selling it by 1816.

That leaves tract #8 (150 ac) that passed from Robert Cravens to Robert Patterson Sr. We know that James Patterson bought it from Cravens in 1774, and that Robert Patterson Sr inherited it in 1774/75. We then find Robert Patterson Jr selling it (all 150 ac) in 1797 (G-469) to William McElwee (m. to a Janet Black). That 1797 deed to McElwee contained 500 acres, but I've been able to determine that this is made up of part or all of 4 different tracts. 
  • It includes the 250 ac tract that belonged to Robert and Magy Cravens Black, sold to Robert Patterson in 1779. 
  • This bordered Robert Patterson Sr's 200 ac tract (#1).
  • It also includes the 60 ac tract granted to Thomas Patterson in 1766, and sold to Robert Patterson in 1786. 
  • This tract bordered Robert Black on the opposite side from #1.
  • It also includes the 150 ac tract (#8) that had belonged to Robert Cravens, then Robert Patterson Sr.... conveyed to Robert Patterson (Jr) presumably in 1775 or soon thereafter. We see enough evidence to know that this tract was nearby too. I believe it was next to Robert Black's old tract, which passed to Robert Patterson Jr in 1779.
  • H-100 in 1802 tells us this 150 ac tract was on CFOBC joining Robert Patterson, being originally granted to Robert Cravens and from said Cravens conveyed by deed to Robert Patterson deceased. 
  • H-378 in 1816 tells us this 150 ac tract was on CFOBC granted to one Cravens adj Peter Pattersons old line.
  • And it includes 40 ac, part of a 140 ac tract granted to Robert Patterson (Jr) in 1794 on Hendersons Branch, later broken up into a 40 ac piece (G-469) and a 100 ac piece (G-371).
  • H-100 in 1802 tells us this 40 ac tract was on Hendersons Branch of CFOBC joining John Patterson, part of tract granted to Robert Patterson in 1794.
  • H-378 in 1816 tells us this 40 ac tract was land granted to Robert Paterson joining East side of the said Cravens tract (#8).

More importantly, the 150 ac and 40 ac tracts were sold together in 1797 by Robert Patterson to McElwee, and again together in 1802 and 1816. 

So It seems to me that Robert Sr's 200 ac tract passed to Peter, Thomas and Daniel Ponder (or Sarah/Joseph Black?), and the 150 ac tract passed to Robert Jr. Thomas later sold his 1B tract to Daniel, and his own 60 acre grant to Robert Jr. The 1C tract later ended up in Daniel Ponders hands too (his wife being Elizabeth Patterson).

I have way more details than this, but this is the crux of the matter.

Just wanted to pass this along to you. Will send more later when things are finalized and mapped out more clearly.