FREE LAND!!!

LandscapeI’m not talking about some local parcel of land being here in North Carolina. For the first time to my knowledge, I can now get a free look at land anywhere I wish within the boundaries of the United States! You see, for many years as a backpacking enthusiast, scout master, and now as one who loves family history; I’ve always visited the Archdale Building here in Raleigh in preparation for my outdoor adventures. Topography maps purchased for around $10 give the best view of landscape including trails and elevation. And in terms of family history, they locate cemeteries as well as creeks and small paths. The maps are a must for those who need a close look at land and how it’s used.

Today, while at the Archdale Building to pick up a map for my newest challenge, I had a wonderful conversation with one of the lead folks in the North Carolina Office of the United States Geological Survey. I’ve known for a while that you can order hardcopies of topo maps online. They take a week to arrive. You can also buy the digital files for the maps too. But today I learned that there’s no need to pay for the digital files. They’ve actually been paid for once in their making so why pay again?

There’s sites online where you can continue to pay if you like, but also, I learned of the USGS site where you can get loads of maps for free! …. Yes FREE! Regardless of whether you’d like to look at land in New York City or the Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, the site is loaded with maps from across the Country. They have new maps as well as historic maps and you can fade the old maps so that you can compare what the land looks like now versus at some earlier date…say 1900!

So, enough of looking at my typing and here’s moving forward to the site: https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/ngmdb/ngmdb_home.html
Simply click on the “TopoView” button and start your own adventure. And, if you’d like, you can also start with the following online tour showing you how best to use this wonderful resource.

 

A BIT ABOUT WAR, NAMES, AND SERVICE

elisha

I’ve always wondered about my ggggrandfather Ananias Thomas. I’ve seen his name spelled with one ‘n” and two …Annaias versus Ananias. Also, I’ve seen his name spelled as “Nias” believing this was likely his nickname being the name his friends and family used. I’ve also wondered if he possibly went by the name Elisha Thomas? Doing so would have been a huge boost in tracing down his namesake as there was an Elisha Thomas who lived in Johnston County (beside Wake) and who was born earlier in Bertie or Northampton County. I’ve always wondered if there was a connection.

Also, I’ve wondered about our family’s service in the American Revolution as well as the War of 1812. Did we fight for the new country, were we Tories fighting for the British or did we just hang our heads low in order to avoid the carnage of war?

None of our family appears in unit rolls as serving in the Revolutionary War. However, Ananias’ father Benjamin did receive compensation for goods he provided the soldiers. I think the DAR accepts this as patriotic service though is it really? If we were overseas say natives of Afghanistan, would our providing goods to the American Troops necessarily mean that we supported their cause? Would you not do what you had to do just long enough to get by? I wonder?

I do believe that my Benjamin Thomas’s personal stock was provided as a patriotic gesture, but believing is all I have. There’s no proof.

But as for the War of 1812, a person named “Elisha Thomas” was issued a “pay voucher” in 1815. The document indicates he was a private serving under Capt. [Frederick] Staton. The document as seen at the top of the page was punched indicating it was received by Elisha Thomas.

We know that Frederick Staton owned numerous tracts along Richardson Creek in the area where lived my ancestor Ananias Thomas. And listed below are all those who received pay vouchers for their service under Frederick Staton. And, among those listed are William Morris and William Gurley who we know are Ananias’ neighbors.

So, …was Elisha the same person as my Ananias Thomas? It’s only a guess and there’s no proof other than me saying I think so.

Below is a list of those who served under Capt. Frederick Staton in upper Anson County. It’s known that they rendezvoused at Wadesboro but may not have made the journey to battle in New Orleans as the war was at end. Wouldn’t you like to see their pay vouchers? If so, go to the North Carolina Digital Collection where you can browse through those who served.

John Walden       George Mulder       Mathew Rummage                                Archibald Rushing       Elisha Griffin      Frank Mullis       James Perkins James Dunn       Robert Bagges       Robert Presston       Absalom Stegall
Thomas Ward       William Maness       William Oniel         Alsa Hyatt   Israel Watson        Needham Gurley      William Gurley                      Micajah Taylor       John Brown       William Morris       Jesse Barnett    John Hagles      David Anders       William V. Lewis       Elisha Thomas Jeremiah Welch       John Winchester

THE UNION COUNTY LINE

 

Map_of_Union_County_NC_Calvin_M_Miller

1907 Map of Union County, N.C. (Calvin M. Miller)

 

Union County in the state of North Carolina was formed in 1842 from parts of Mecklenburg and Anson Counties.  Below is the act of General Assembly directing the creation of the new county:

 

An Act to Lay Off and Establish a County by the Name of Union

    Be it enacted by tge General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That a new county, by the name of Union , be, and the same is hereby laid off and established of parts of the counties of Mecklenburg and Anson: Beginning at the corner of Anson and Mecklenburg, on the South Carolina Line, eleven miles; then east of a parallel of the county line, so that it shall be thirteen miles east of the Cabarrus corner, on Rocky River; thence up the various courses of Rocky River to the corner of Anson and Mecklenburg; thence with the meanders of the creek. To the South Carolina Line; then with the South Carolina to the beginning; which shall have all the powers, authorities and immunities of other counties in the State.

 

[Ratified the 19th day of December, A. D. 1842.]

This last week, while looking through Anson County Deed books, I came across the following report which was recorded 1843 in deed book 11 on page 114.  Rarely do you find such descriptions for the running of a county line, but here it is, a report on the running of the county line dividing present day Anson and Union Counties: And at the bottom,  is a copy of the same report appearing in the Feb 18, 1909 issue of the Wadesboro Messenger and Intelligencer. I guess in 1909 the people at the local newspaper thought this to be newsworthy.

Report of County Line between Union and Anson

State of North Carolina
Anson County

Pursuant to an order of the Worshipful County Court of said county appointing us the undersigned commissioners appointed by the act of Assembly to run and mark the dividing line between the county of Anson and Union agreeable to the said at and to report to the said court 1843. In pursuance of said order we the undersigned proceeded to run and mark said line on the 20th of April 1843 at which time we met with said commissioners at or near the state line said commissioners as aforesaid having run and measured the state line the distance directed by law with sworn and impartial chains we therefore report as follows # Beginning at a stake in the South Carolina line 35 yds west of the western bent of Millers Spring Branch where said bent approaches near the state line and near the No. edge of an old field ten post oaks 1 willow oaks & 3 small pines pointers and runs No. 3 degrees 5 1/3 minutes East 26 miles 19 chns. To a stake in the bank of Rocky River at a place called the old Wading Ford five chains and thirty links above the Cool Spring which said spring rises at the foot of a Great Bluff near where the said bluff joins the river two ashes birch mulberry and ironwood pointers and opposite Julius Hill’s plantation. The following are the distance to the noted places or objects on the said line beginning at the corner in the state line and runs No. 3-5-28 Est. one mile and 18 chas to the Wadesboro Road 3 miles & ten chains to Brown Creek just below the road to Wm Wimberly’s 5 miles 10 chains to Sanderford Road 6 miles 33 chns & 50 links to Cheraw Road 11 ½ miles to Lanes Creek crossing said creek at an old fish dam in the north part of the Great Bend below Hasty’s Mill 3 miles and 5 chains to the Charlotte Road about 32 yards west of a broad hollow 14 miles 15 chains to the Goldmine Road 18 Miles and 40 chains to the Jumping Road twenty two miles and five chains to the Burnsville Road passing through William Davis’ chimney and his spring 22 miles & 30 chains to Richardson Creek 23 miles 42 chains to the Burnsville Road 24 miles & 50 chains to William Hill’s house passing 80 yards east of said Hill’s spring total distance 26 Miles 19 Chains to the corner of the Rocky River & all of which we report to the Worshipful Court under our hands this 11 day of July 1843.
North Carolina Anson County October Term 1843 then the foregoing report was returned in open court and ordered to be recorded and registered.

 
{ Allen Carpenter SR.
{ George Durrin
                                               Wm. Wilson}
                                                S. P Stewart}       Commissioners
                                                    J. A. Dunn}        for
James Marsh}       Union

                                      M W Cuthbertson}

ND Boggan Clk.

anson line

 

THE WORST OF US ALL (PT 3)

Following his near-death experience in January of 1871, Henderson Judd was reminded of his own physical mortality. A month later, in February of the same year, he gave to Macklin C. Thomas, son of Tillman Thomas and wife Harriet Judd Thomas a $60 promissory note dating to the early 1860’s. Macklin was to use it to cover one of Henderson’s liabilities. And then unrelated and on 29 Mar 1871 , at the request of Henderson Judd, Col. A. A. F. Seawell wrote and executed a deed of trust for the said Judd. Registered in Chatham County and recorded in deed book and page AP-59, Col. A. A. F. Seawell and Jefferson Thomas acted as trustees for Archibald Judd and the other children of Henderson Judd. The deed of trust reads:

“…in consideration of the sum of one dollar to the said Henderson Judd paid by the aforesaid Jefferson Thomas and Aaron A. Seawell together with the further consideration of my affection for Archibald Judd, Adelar Judd, John D. Judd, James Judd, Nancy Judd, William H. Judd, Jonna Judd, Mary H. Judd and Lula Judd of whom I the said Henderson Judd are the reputed father which reputation is admitted to be true.”

In this instrument, three tracts of land along the Cape Fear River totaling 174 acres were placed in trust for the benefit of Henderson’s children. Other property conveyed in trust is also described after naming and including all the land:

“ …also all the stock of horses, mules, cattle. And hogs and all the personal property of every description which I the said Henderson Judd now own or may hereafter become the owner of up to the day and time of my death.”

The subject of Henderson Judd has been well written about from the perspective of the family descendants of which in one article can be found the following:

“On July 27, 1871, Henderson Judd was dead.

The family tells that on that day, Henderson was paid another visit by the Klan, and in retaliation for his testimony against them, Henderson was dragged out of his house, tied to the old oak tree, castrated, and left to bleed to death.”

So, in Mar 1871, Henderson Judd deeded land for the use of his five children who were also his former slaves and who were now free. And then on 27 Jul 1871, he was dragged out of his house, tied to a tree, castrated, and was left to bleed to death. But his story did not end at the base of a tree. On the very same day, “some hours prior to his death, [Henderson Judd] called us to his bedside.” In what’s known as a nuncupative or oral will, Henderson Judd did not die without his final wishes being spoken and recorded.

On the same day, 27 Mar 1871, Henderson Judd was indeed visited at his bedside as his last will and testament reads:

henderson Judd

On this day Jul 27th, 1871, Henderson Judd died & some hours prior to his death he called us to his bedside & made the following request towit that he did not devise his property undisposed of to be left at the disposition of his relations but that Jefferson Thomas should have the home place where he now lives or did live a few hours since in fee simple nevertheless with this provision that the said Thomas should provide for his nephew James Womack by giving him a living out of the said tract of land or so much thereof as would make him a comfortable home left to him the said Jefferson Thomas’ discretion & furthermore that his sister Matilda Womack should have an absolute & indisposable title to the land upon which she now lives adjoining the above described tract & consisting of one hundred acres more or less to her during her live and her children thereafter the above disposition of the remainder of his landed estate he called us to his bedside & requested would be made some hours prior to his death he having disposed of the balance of his land by a paper writing some months since to other parties which will better appear by reference to the same, now in the hands of Jefferson Thomas. The above being his will & wishes we hereby record a few hours after his death as a nuncupative will in testimony whereof we do hereunto set our hands and seals this 27 of July 1871. L. W. Waddill Test: James T. Maddox James (X) Womack The above admitted to Probate as the Noncupative Will of Henderson Judd A. H. McNeill, Judge

So, the old man Henderson Judd has died and at that point life in the neighborhood began to reset its clock accordingly. I’m not sure where Henderson is buried and if that information is even known. As for Yearby Thomas, he lived until 1880 and is buried in Lee County.

By way of the nuncupative will, undevised portions of Henderson Judd’s estate lands had been bequeathed to a select few nephews and a niece. And back in March of the year of his death, the black children of Henderson Judd had received a sizeable portion of his estate lands which was held in the hands of trustees. However, in a last hour oral statement taken on his death bed, the trustees were given the right to sell any of the lands as was needed. And as you can guess, selling they did. Within a year or two, much of Henderson Judd’s land along the banks of the Cape Fear was sold to Mr. Rosser of Chatham County. I can’t morally judge this action as I have no idea whether or not the land was sold for good reason.

juggland

This all is probably one of those things no one wanted to remember, but you’re wrong if you think it’s been forgotten. At the back end of Buckhorn Road stands a sign identifying “JUDDLAND.” Notice the establishment date on the sign. This is the place where Stokes Judd lived and was beaten. It’s the land that passed down from Henderson Judd to Stokes Judd and on and on through his family. It’s not far from where the old school or church once stood. And family descendants return annually to celebrate the memory and the struggles Stokes endured. The story of Stokes Judd can be found at The Curious Case of Stokes Maddox Judd, Former Slave and Confederate Pensioner. There’s also an article written about Henderson Judd and the Outrage on the Cape Fear River. And lastly, the Congressional Report providing detailed background can be found at Congressional Series of United States Public Documents, 1872, Volume 1530

 

THE WORST OF US ALL (PT. 2)

churchBorn ca. 1761 possibly in Northampton County, in 1802 Thomas Dickey (Dickens) received a land grant in Chatham County for 50 acres adjoining the Moore County line. Thomas Dickens’ land was close to the Cape Fear River adjoining that of John Womack. It was east of Joseph Thomas’ who later sold his land to Ishmael Roberts, who was a person of color.

Trying to connect the dots and not finding any information documenting whose son he was and exactly where he lived, it is known at some point a person by name of Anderson Dickens gave an acre of land for what was later listed in a Federal case as being a church. However, depositions indicate the land may have actually been used for a school. Either way, located near the original 50 acre grant issued to Thomas Dickens, the church/school was for the use of the community of African Americans who lived in the neighborhood.

Also of importance, Henderson Judd lived near Anderson Dickens. A prosperous white farmer, prior to the close of the civil war, Henderson had fathered at least five mulatto children born to his slave/housekeeper named Mary. And following the close of the war, Henderson Judd and Mary had an additional five children. It was in 1871 that the aging Henderson Judd conveyed land to his freed black children. It’s at this time starting in the winter of 1871 that things went horribly wrong.

On two separate occasions occurring in short succession, five disguised clansmen swept into the community. When apprehended and asked of their rationale, the five men gave the following answer: “they were going to drive the negroes out of the county; that they were not going to allow them to be there.” Of the five, only one was seen and recognized, and his name was John Yerby Thomas.

The events are well documented with a sworn examination taking place in Washington DC. Deputy US Marshall Joseph G. Hester operating out of Raleigh handled the cases and he gave testimony of events beginning in January 1871. In the first event, Joseph Hester was sent to a place called Big Poplar, at the corner of Harnett, Moore and Chatham Counties with a warrant to arrest parties going in disguise upon the public highways. They were also trespassing upon the premises of William Judd, Stokes Judd, and Anderson Dickens and of “burning a church on the land of Anderson Dickens.” A white man, Anderson Dickens had given the small black community ground near Judd’s to build a church/school. Soon after it was built, the group of disguised men came to Dickens’ house in the dark of night. Using fence rails to break down the door, Dickens and his wife were compelled to take fire from their own place and to carry it to the little church. Dickens was forced to take benches from the church and he was commanded to pile them into the middle of the floor. His wife was compelled to gather brush and sticks from the woods. A fire was kindled and soon the church was in flames.  Afterward, Dickens and his wife were told to go home and to never speak of the evening. The men then went to William Judd’s and whipped his son and then to Stokes Judd and whipped him too. Both victims were people of color with Stokes possibly being Cherokee.

The five men were arrested and carried to Raleigh; however all gave bond and returned home. Two or three days afterward, William Judd, whose son had been previously whipped, came to Raleigh and made a second complaint. Upon his return, the Ku-Klux attacked him a second time. Somehow William was able to make it to the woods with his family where they were able to hide until danger had passed. They all made their escape except for a woman named Bella Douglass who was not very well. Captured in the house, the attackers cut limbs from a cherry tree and whipped her severely.

Henderson Judd loaned US Marshall Hester horses and guided him to the road leading to where the KKK men lived. Henderson told Hester that upon the men’s return from their first arrest, the said Henderson had been pulled from his own home. Henderson’s guns were taken and his dogs shot. “They carried him five miles from his home and there dismounted him, and he was compelled to walk home in the night, over a very rough, rocky road.” Henderson was an old and decrepit man some 65-70 years old. While at the home of Henderson Judd and his nephew Rora Womack, US Marshall Hester was told that on the occasion old man Judd was carried off, they cut his clothes off and made him walk naked the five miles home. Again, this was the cold of winter. Also carried away were an old infirmed black lady and a fellow named Hance or Hanks who may have been working on the barn. Some say the old lady was Henderson Judd’s Housekeeper Mary. Neither Hance nor the old black lady survived the ordeal as they were both dead within a day or two.

Henderson Judd and his neighbors had been horribly abused. Still considered wealthy and owner of much land, his respect in the community plummeted following the civil war. It was considered okay  to do the things he had done while a slave master, but he had done nothing to change his ways following the war.  Out of step with the prevailing winds, and though still wealthy, Henderson was viewed by many as low class. He knew he was a marked man and the blood-letting was not yet ready to end. Let’s turn the page …

 

 

FROM THE WORST OF US ALL (PT 1)

kkkThere’s always good and bad. And, sometimes in our studies of family history we’ll uncover extreme examples of both. I’m not a believer that just because something is true it’s wise to tell. Sometimes things evil in nature are best left unsaid. But then again, even out of the worst of us can be found goodness or at least some rationale commanding us to do good. Lessons can be found in both good and bad.

In this three-part series of posts, I’ll write about John Yerby Thomas and of his despicable acts of hatred during the post-civil war period of reconstruction. I’ll also write about his family and what I know of their connection to ours. Does Yerby carry our blood and is he of our Thomas family? Ultimately that’s not as important as his crimes and the lessons we all must learn. And as for his doings, hopefully Yerby Thomas was condemned by the highest standard.

As has been outlined in prior posts, DNA shows that my Thomas family in Anson County NC somehow connects to a line out of early Wake County. We are family. That other part of our family first settled in Wake about 1772 and later moved across the county line into eastern Chatham into what’s now Lee County. Joseph Thomas [III] owned land along Bush Creek where at the turn of 1800 free people of color also settled. I hope the relations were good since we know there were numerous land transactions between our family and those  who were of color. The families of Ishmael Roberts and others even purchased from the 1819 estate of Joseph Thomas. All appeared well until in the 1830’s the families of color removed themselves to Indiana. A great wave in politics and the resulting change in social landscape drove them from their homes in North Carolina.

Much of Joseph Thomas’ children drifted a bit south out of Chatham across the old Moore County line and settled near the present day loop road known as Buckhorn Road. Circling out to near the Cape Fear River, land records in the area show that Joseph’s son John must have lived and died there. This belief is supported by the burial of John’s son Tillman Thomas at Baptist Chapel Church. And less than three miles west on Buckhorn Road is more of Tillman’s family buried at Juniper Springs Baptist Church. Along with members of Tillman’s family, descendants of Grisham Thomas can also be found at Juniper Springs. And less than a half mile further west off of Buckhorn Road is the Broadway Town Cemetery where Grisham Thomas is buried. You’d think for sure by location that Grisham Thomas would be blood kin to our family? However, according to the 1850 census, Grissom was born ca. 1783 in “Virginia.” At a time when Joseph Thomas was firmly in place in Wake County, Grisham Thomas was born much further north across the Virginia state line. From this it’s rightfully considered that Grisham Thomas is not related by blood to Joseph Thomas [III]. However, there’s still scenarios in which this assumption could be made wrong. It’s important that you learn there’s a great need for some direct line male descendant of Grisham Thomas to be Y DNA tested. Y tests are the best for proving patriarchal lineages.

Juniper spring

Lorenzo_DowGrisham Thomas had five male sons: John Yerby Thomas, Wesley Thomas, Anderson Thomas, Lorenzo Dow Thomas, and William Otis Thomas. I have no information on the meaning of William Otis’ naming though his older brother Lorenzo is quite different. Like many in his time, Lorenzo Thomas was named for the eccentric travelling Methodist evangelist Lorenzo Dow (1777-1834). It is said preacher Lorenzo Dow could quiet a turbulent camp meeting with “the sound of his voice or at the sight of his fragile but awe-inspiring presence.” Dow’s audiences often exhibited unusual physical manifestations under the influence of his impassioned preaching.

Grisham Thomas also had son Wesley Thomas whose naming further shows that Grisham Thomas was influenced by the Methodist church. There’s also son Anderson Thomas; his naming is of little noteworthy. However, and as relates to this this post, it must be said that census records indicate Anderson was the owner of slaves. This is important in that following the American Civil War, Anderson Thomas applied for Southern Loyalist Claim. He was both a slave owner and Union sympathizer.

The troops of William Tecumseh Sherman camped not far from Anderson Thomas’ neighborhood during their passage following the battle of Bentonville. Anderson sought compensation for damages in response to the troops stealing of his buggy, livestock, and crops. And within his case documentation is the following brief:

Claimant was 53 years in age in 1861 and was at his home in Moore Co. at the surrender and not say that he was there all the time and was there all during the war – farming – farm consisted of 174 acres – cultivated 40. Had nothing to do with the rebel army – had 5 sons conscripted – I did not furnish them with anything – was always opposed to the war and if he would have been younger he would have gone to the Yankees – always thought the Yankees would whip and tried to keep his sons out of the rebel army as long as possible. Belonged to the Red Strings and attended Union meetings mostly private – don’t think he ever received a pass – voted for Union men all the time – voted for Holden for governor against Vance and not change one bit during the war.

Elias Cox, 38 in 1861, farmer, Moore County N. C. lived within 3 miles of claimant during the war and saw him about once or twice a month – often heard him talk he always expressed himself against the war – said it would ruin the gov’t – the union men used to meet at the public school about once a month to hold meetings but the rebels threatened them and they had to stop – saw the claim’t there once or twice and he said he was ready for any union principles – never heard anybody say anything but that he was a religious man – he said it was a rich man’s war heard him talk this in public to 5 or 6 persons several times-

Absolum Kelly in 1861 was ——-old and lived 2 miles from claimant during the war – saw him once a week and heard each other’s resentments- he voted the union ticket all the time and have seen him do it- he was a Jackson Democrat but left them in 1861 as he said they made the war and he would not vote with them anymore- was punctual in attending union meetings at witness’ house- everybody in the neighborhood knew him as a union man- heard the —– curse him for a d-d union man- heard some of the neighbors cursing him for voting for Holden during the war instead of Vance.

Account
Mule $50, Mare $75, 25 Bus of Corn $25,
200 lb of Bacon $40, 100 lbs Fodder $5, Buggy $50
The clamant files two claims: the original amounts to $147.75 –the amended to $345-Claimant says that Sherman’s army at the surrender went into camp at the Cape Fear River 5 miles from his house and remained two weeks – two soldiers came to his house and asked him where his horses were- he told them in the stable and they put ropes around their necks and led them off towards camp …

And lastly there’s John Yerby Thomas, the subject of this post. Born ca. 1811, in 1840 Yerby was living in Cumberland County beside his brother Wesley. The 1850 and 1860 census enumerates Yerby, wife Delany and son John W. (Wesley?) as living first in Cumberland and then nearby in Harnett County. In 1870, the 66 year old Yerby Thomas and wife Delany are again listed as farmers living in Harnett County. At that time a black person named Green Judd is enumerated in the household as “farm hand.”

1850 moore judd

1850 Moore County Census

 

Another person who’s critically important in this post is named Henderson Judd. In 1850, Henderson Judd is listed as 44 years of age and living in Moore County. The only other person living with him is his 74 year old mother Elizabeth (Solomon) Judd. And for that year and enumerated on both sides of Henderson Judd are the families of Priscilla and Green Thomas. Living with Green Thomas is 50 year old Penelope Thomas, the widow of Martin Thomas who is the grandson of Joseph Thomas [III]. And, living with Priscilla (Brown) Thomas are William Brown and Elizabeth Dickens. These folk somehow relate to the family and story of Joseph Thomas [III] but there’s little connection to Grisham Thomas except through his son Yerby Thomas.

1870 henderson judd

1870 Moore County Census

In 1870, and being during the harsh reconstruction period following the civil war, the census reveals that Henderson Judd is enumerated as head of household of a biracial family. To the right you’ll see Henderson as being white, his wife/partner or housekeeper as being black, and his 9 children as being mulatto. Also living in the household is Henderson’s nephew James Womack.

As you can see, the family of Henderson Judd was different from others in the neighborhood. In protest of this family dynamic arose a response of hatred, intolerance, and retribution. Not long after 1870, the lives of Henderson and Mary Judd crossed paths with John Yerby Thomas who as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, also lived not far away. And, just as Henderson Judd had social views we might perceive as well ahead of his day, the family of Yerby Thomas was also socially divided. It sounds absurdly crazy, but on one hand there’s Yerby Thomas whose crimes and involvement in the Ku Klu Klan will be made  clear. And then there’s also Yerby’s brother Anderson Thomas who as a religious man, supported the Union during the civil war. I wonder what that family Thanksgiving dinner looked like? And with that, it’s all about to change. Let’s turn the page and begin to look closely at recorded events and testimony heard in 1871 by the United States Congress.

 

A GOOD DEED

Today I happened across a very interesting deed of sale while going through online records for Anson County. In book T and on page 359, Lee Yarborough conveys to George Carker/Kiker 75 acres on the south side of Rocky River located in the river fork and Richardson’s Creek. According to his revolutionary war pension request, George Karcher was “born in the County of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania on the 25th day of October 1852” (1752). At one point he lived in a section of Mecklenburg County that later became Cabarrus. I believe a grant for land located north of Rocky River and east of present day Hwy. 601 is where he first settled in our state of North Carolina. You can go to my land records site where this tract and its legal description are identified as map key tract #38.

northmap

38. Grant # 3561, Mecklenburg NC. Issued to George Carrigor (Carricker), being 200 acres on Plum Run. Beginning at a stone west 152 to pine, north 48 west 59 to wo (own and Orr’s corner), south 8 west 242 (on own line passing his old corner), to ro, north 50 east 73 to ro, east 94 to stone (six feet from John Finney), south 57 east 20 to bo, north 22 east 186 to begin.

andrewBefore moving forward, it’s important to point out that just a bit south and across the river from George Karaker’s granted land is located what’s known as the Tucker Cemetery.  It’s there where Andrew Cariker’s grave is located. Who was Andrew and how is he connected to the earlier George Karaker?  Are they family?

Also found in his revolutionary war pension request, “on August 31, 1835 in Pike County Georgia, the veteran (George Karcher) applied for the transfer of his pension benefit to the Georgia agency giving as his reasons for moving from North Carolina to Georgia.the veteran’s application for a transfer was supported by the affidavit of John D Lee who states that he has known the veteran from the affiant’s earliest recollection. …and on December 4, 1848 in Heard County Georgia, Daniel Kariker [sic] gave testimony that he was present when George Karcher alias George Kariker was married to Frances lay in Anson County North Carolina about the year 1806 and that Frances Kariker is the widow of George Kariker who died in Heard County in October 1836.” George’s wife’s name is spelled incorrectly; it’s supposed to be Lee. And of further interest, George and Frances’ son Phillip had son Edmond who married Elizabeth Brown Traywick who was first married to Benjamin Thomas Junior.

The above deeded land at the mouth of Richardson Creek is located in an area thick with those of name Lee, Gilbert, Culpepper, and Brooks. We’re not certain of earlier locations in which the Gilbert family lived, though evidence points most strongly toward the northeast to points from Wake County and to its east. We also know the Brooks family passed through Chatham County and also from points further east.

In the above deed dated 1804, note that the land in question included “50 acres left William Gilbert by his grandfather John Brooks.” This is rare, huge, and a wonderful inclusion in such a simple deed of sale. The implication is that William’s mother is a Brooks …and with that, who was William Gilbert’s father?

Dated 1789 and registered in Anson County deed book B2-344, Jesse Gilbert, Esquire sold to Jno. Brooks three tracts on Richardson Creek. Located within the geographical area of these these combined families’ lands, it’s interesting that this deed was witnessed by William Gilbert and Frances Yarborbough. It’s believed that Frances Lee first married into the Yarborough family before marrying George Karcher. And could William Gilbert be the son of Jesse or possibly others carrying the name? Is he the son of John or Thomas Gilbert?

From forums online it’s clear that others have spent many hours pondering this same question. And as for myself, I’m not at all certain as to the father of William Gilbert. I’m equally unsure who all has seen and studied this deed which names William Gilbert’s grandfather. As much as being given a detailed answer, I appreciate leaving any learning opportunity armed anew with questions driving me to some greater awareness yet unknown. Simply call them clues if you like, information like that found in this deed may possibly open new doors. If you’re a researcher of this family I’d like to hear from you. Is this new and does it add to your family possibilities.