Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Writing Projects: Butterfly Biographies, Newfound Church Minutes, and Brookberry Farm

Since the Fall of 2018 I have been engaged in three separate writing projects. 

1) One project was a shorter, one-chapter historical record to be included a book by Debbie McCann on Brookberry Farm, located in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, NC. This 800-900 acre farm is located on the outskirts of what used to be the Moravians' Wachovia Tract, granted to them in 1753. Many of my relatives lived on land just to the NW of Wachovia, part of which overlaps with the modern-day Brookberry Farm. Debbie hopes to have her book published later this year (2019). I sent my completed chapter to Debbie in February.

2) Last Fall I began writing a long-overdue book on my PATTERSON ancestors. For years I have questioned how much content to include in a book or books on the Pattersons. Robert Patterson was my 6x-G-GF and he lived from the early 1700's until 1775. Writing about just him could fill multiple books. On the other hand, his grandson John Patterson - my 4x-G-GF - has long been a well-known figure in our family tree. There are thousands of his living descendants across the USA and Canada today. However, for decades, we could not figure out who John's parents were.

Therefore, I chose to focus this book on John's father, Thomas Patterson (son of Robert), and Thomas's family. Some details will be given on Thomas's parents and siblings, but the greater focus will be on Thomas and his immediate family, and their descendants. It will also focus on the family of Thomas's wife, Margaret HARRISON. It took many years to discover who John's father was, and who the legendary "brothers" were that my family has talked about for generations. Thus, "LEGENDS REVEALED..." is the beginning of the title of this book, as the legend of John's father is revealed, and the legend of the "brothers" is also revealed. The series finally became known as "Butterfly Biographies".

This work is still on-going, but thus far, well over 300 pages have been put together. My goal is to finish this book in 2019. 

3) Working on the "Legends Revealed" book has forced additional research in a few key areas, naturally. One such area involves the Church Minutes of Newfound Baptist Church from western NC, a church which began in 1802. My ancestors and many of their relatives began this church and were heavily involved in it through 1815. The third project I am finishing up now is an article to be submitted to the quarterly magazine called "A Lot of Buncom" or ALOB, which is published by the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society. Harald Reksten (and Greg Brookshire) have been pushing me for years to get this work completed. This initial article will focus on the early years (1802-1815) with some introduction about the minutes themselves and the difficulty one has in reading the handwriting. Many attempts have been made over the years at interpreting the names therein, but many errors have been published. I have worked diligently to learn about these families and to get the names correct. I am finishing up the final editing now and hope to submit this article during April, 2019.

Once the ALOB article is completed, I will then be in a better position to leverage those edited  minutes and incorporate them into the "Legends Revealed" book. This book will continue to be my primary focus during the remainder of 2019.

More later,



  1. Hi, I am a descendant of Daniel Ponder and Jemima, their son Daniel and Elizabeth Patterson. I am taking a trip in August to Milton, Delaware. Are there any places that you recommend that I go? Also, I have read the accounts in Draper's Kings Mountain and it's Heroes of young Tory John Ponder, thought to be 14. Have you figured out who is this John's parents? Perhaps the age was wrong. I also wonder if you have information on the Ky. Ponders, descendants of Daniel and Elizabeth Ponder. My branch is through their son John. I have pictures and information. I am just not sure if your research has extended to the Clay county, Ky. branches. Thank you, Diane Burns Brads.

    1. Diane, it is so nice to hear from you. Since you descend from both the Ponders and the Pattersons, the area around Milton, DE would most likely be of interest. This page http://www.wespatterson.com/2011/08/location-of-robert-patterson-sussex-co.html shows you how I found where Robert Patterson's land was. He was the father of your Elizabeth Patterson (Ponder).

      This page http://www.wespatterson.com/2016/10/who-was-father-of-my-margaret-harrison.html shows in the middle of the article a map from Sussex DE that I made in Deedmapper that shows the same Robert Patterson tract, just to the west of Milton, and then just to the northeast closer to Milton was the general area where a John Ponder lived. I believe he was a close relative of Daniel Ponder Sr. The first link above shows you road names for proximity sake.

      The younger John Ponder in SC during the Revolution was a son of Daniel Ponder Sr, and therefore a brother of your Daniel Jr who m. Elizabeth Patterson. Another sister was Mabel Ponder, who we've in recent years identified as a Ponder through DNA testing and traditional research with deductive reasoning. Mabel Ponder married Robert Patterson Jr, brother of your Elizabeth.

    2. Send me your email address (send it to wespatterson.nc@gmail.com) and I will send you another map I made as well. I don't have it online so I can't link to it easily.

    3. Thank you so much for the information, Wes. My email is charliebrads@yahoo.com. Maps will be very helpful.

  2. Hi, Wes. I am a descendant of Daniel and Jemima Ponder and Daniel, Jr. and Elizabeth Ponder. I am descended from Daniel and Elizabeth's son, John and wife Winnie Holcombe, who left NC and ended up in Clay county, Ky. I am away from home now but I have an article that you might be interested in and which I can get to you soon. If I am counting correctly, a 4th great grandson of Daniel and Elizabeth spoke at the Newfound Baptist Church in the 70's or 80's. The article describes his visit to Newfound. He was President of the Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky., in Clay County. His name is Barkley Moore, who is now deceased. He spoke about the Christian heritage of the Ponders. Barkley and I share a great-grandfather, William D. Ponder, who was instrumental in the founding of the Oneida Baptist Institute in 1899. Clay County and vicinity was very lawless, prone to feuds, and without educational opportunities. Another ancestor of mine, James Anderson Burns had the vision of Christian education for the mountain children and founded the school. William D. Ponder served on the first Board of Trustees. He ran a sawmill and contributed lumber for the first buildings. So Barkley compared him to Daniel, who hauled logs for the first Newfound building and served as a deacon. An excellent book with wonderful photos of the school during the years of 1906-1913 called Dawn Comes to the Mountains, is available from the school, which is still thriving, and from the Clay County Historical Society website. Have you seen the 2 volume book called The Kentucky Ponders, written by Pat Saupe and Fox Ponder? My maternal graduated from OBI in 1911 and my mother, in 1945. If you would be interested in the article, as you write about Newfound, let me know. I visited there myself a few years ago and the pastor gave us a tour and showed us the gavel made from the old lumber. Thanks, Wes, for sharing your thorough research. Also, my 2 sisters-in-law live at Yadkinville and my father-in-law attended Piedmont Bible College in the late 40's. This comment is very disjointed. I will blame it on the late hour. Diane Burns Brads

  3. Yes, I would love more information about the article and the book. Anything like that would be great to include in the book on Newfound Baptist Church. I have both Kentucky Ponders books, and have communicated with Pat Saupe numerous times over the years. In fact, the microfilm I have of the church minutes came from her years ago, as a gift.

    Small world on the Yadkinville connection, as well as Piedmont Bible College. I attended there myself for one year.

  4. Wes,I somehow missed your reply and kind offer to send me a map.Iam now in Milton,leaving tomorrow. A friend came with me,really love the little town.Several helpful people.Librarian called an historian who lives in milton and who worked at the delaware state archives for 30 plus years.nameis russ mccabe.he told me where to find the old ponder cemetery.we drove by and accidentally turned into the next door neighbors. Turned out to be a blessing. He found the cemetery walking thru the woods and took pics,which I now have. It is on private property, which is now for sale. Owners not wanting anyone on their proprrty. Russ mccabe says the property is worth millions, maybe as much as ten million. Owner's name reynolds.I don't know the laws in delaware as to family cemeteries. Have you been to milton and seen the cemetery. I think that the property is 42 acres.do you want the pics? We have deciphered the names. I think some may be children.let me know if you need this info. Do you know about the ponder tract? It is 908 acres owned and managed by the nature conservancy. Russ mccabe thinks it was owned by governor ponder. I have not gotten the article to you about newfound baptist and oneida baptist institute. Will get to it.

  5. Also,oldest grave in cemetery is 1818. Nathaniel. Child, I think.

  6. I am also a descendent of the Blacks/Ponders/Pattersons-My great grandma is from Cocke county TN-Sarah Ellen Black. My email is deedivo@gmail.com. Anything you send would be amazing

  7. yes i am a descandant of the black/ponder/patterson/kincade/my great grandmotnhers are margaret black and margaret patterson and sarah patterson and susannah black margaret harrison patterson ama jane patterson her daughter was susannah jane kincade and her daughter was sallie clark chastain dyer my 3rd ggm and her daughter is ida e dyer coombes my 2nd ggm/my aunt was elizabeth patterson she married a ponder im also cousins i found out recently i am cousins with mary polly roberts and her mom lydia ponder roberts is my 2nd cousin 2 times removed.mary polly is the mother of nathanial chafin who is the father of leivsa chafin hafield im 4th cousins to her

  8. yes i have contacted the augusta co virginia historical society some reason they couldnt find abigial patterson being baptized by reverend craig.but i showed the lady who was emailing the picture of the record she went humm.i will look again.i also was able to get a hold of robert r patterson will.i do know that abigail lived from 1740 to 1807 she died in buncumbe co north carolina


Popular Posts (Most Viewed)