Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Westover Manuscripts

The Westover Manuscripts: containing the history of the dividing line betwixt Virginia and North Carolina; A journey to the land of Eden, A.D. 1733; and A progress to the mines.

Author: Byrd, William, 1674-1744; Ruffin, Edmund, 1794-1865, [from old catalog] ed

Publisher: Petersburg [Va.] Printed by E. and J.C. Ruffin

Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT

Language: English

Call number: 10064383

Digitizing sponsor: Sloan Foundation

Book contributor: The Library of Congress

Collection: americana

Notes: pages in the book are discolored

Scanfactors: 2

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Wishes

'Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch

The pond was froze over & so was the branch.

The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.

The kids were all home on vacation from school,

And happier young folks you never did see-

Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.

Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock,

There came a surprise that gave them a shock!

The power went off, the TV went dead!

When Grandpa came in from out in the shed

With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.

"Just what I expected," they heard him remark.

"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.

Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago."

"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom. "With their light,

And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."

The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.

Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,

Uncased his old fiddle & started to play

That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.

Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew

Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.

They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"

Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.

They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,

And Pop read a passage from God's Book of Truth.

They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,

The youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.

Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;

And when the kids wakened, the power was on.

"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"

Said Grandpa - & no one suspected his trick.

Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,

He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!


Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A New Look at the Tuscarora War

Case #1
On the Trail of Tom,
or A New Look at the Tuscarora War

by Sara Whitford
©2006-2007 All Rights Reserved.


The following publication examines some new and exciting questions relating to Tuscarora history and the Tuscarora war. First things first: I must give credit where credit is due, as elements of this paper stem from ideas suggested by Charles Shephard and Fred Willard, two individuals with whom I spent many hours doing research relating to early colonial Indian history in past years.

When I first met Fred back in 2004, he opened up an entire new world of research for me by drawing my attention to the old Mattamuskeet reservation of Hyde County. What made the topic even more fascinating were the names in my own family tree that he was so excited to learn I descend from—names that come right off of the known names from Mattamuskeet.

Over many conversations with Fred and Charles, anecdotal bits and pieces of research would come up seeming something like puzzle pieces that unfortunately we did not have a picture to go by in order to solve.

One such subject that offered a few puzzle pieces is that relating to the possibility that Core Tom, a prominent figure in the history of the Tuscarora War, is one and the same as Long Tom of the Mattamuskeet reservation. Fred, Charles and myself had all found various historical records that all mentioned some deviant character named Tom. Loose theories were bounced around, "I wonder if it's possible that they're all the same person?" There were even a few instances outside of North Carolina.

Despite the fact that such a theory, if true, would be intriguing, to be perfectly honest, I was quite skeptical of the whole thing. I always kept my eyes open, though, just in case something compelling came up.

Although the three of us had each come across items regarding rogue Toms, we never got around to actually putting our notes together to try to make anything of it. In 2006, however, I started researching specific elements of the Tuscarora war and the activity of Iroquois in the Carolina territory preceding the war. While doing that research, I stumbled upon the 1697 case and the 1704 case that I cite in this paper. I had seen those before, but had just mentally filed them away to look into at some future time.
continue here

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kentucky Land Office

This page provides instant access to all Kentucky Land Office databases. To learn more of the structure and history of the databases included on this site, we encourage researchers to visit the individual pages for each database.

Copyright © 2008 Commonwealth of Kentucky
All rights reserved.

Search Here

Monday, December 8, 2008

A TNGenWeb Land History Project Co-authored by Carole Hammett and Fred Smoot (Second Draft - Jun 2001)
The authors' research into Shelby's Fort and the "mysterious" Squabble State began with several Revolutionary War pension affidavits:
Revolutionary War veteran Nicholas COMBS of Perry Co, KY, b 1761-4, stated in his 17 Aug 1853 affidavit in support of the Revolutionary War pension application of John FIELDS, also of Perry, COMBS declared that "The old Block house known as Selby's fort was in Wilkes County," and that "Squabble State embraces Wilkes and Surry [Cos, NC] and laid towards Salisbury(?) [Rowan Co, NC] when at Jonesbourgh [present-day Washington Co, TN]." (
1) On 10 Apr 1856, John HACKER [aka HARKLEROAD?] of Perry, b ca 1768, in an affidavit in support of COMBS' application, declared that "When I was a well grown boy, I was taken and placed in the old block house (afterwards called Shelby's Fort) between where Jonesborough now stands and Saulsbury. It was sometimes called Squabble State..." In a second affidavit made on 18 Jul 1856, HACKER stated that he wielded a gun as a young boy "... in defense of the old block house on the extreme head of the Holston River, not far from where Jonesborough now stands... our fort... afterwards called Selby or Shelby ... the old Block house, or Selby, was in the county of Wilkes or Surry [NC] ... This post, or block house, was in Squabble State. It was called Squabble State because there was a difficulty between Virginia and North Carolina about the division line or boundary. DIXSON was for N. C. and HENDERSON for Virginia [sic]. This territory laid towards Salisbury from Jonesborough..." (ibid.) The Revolutionary War pension file of John FIELDS includes FIELDS' 8 Feb 1852 declaration that he served in Capt. Thomas VINCENT'S Company with Lt. Samuel BRASHEARS in Col. John SEVIER'S Regiment, and that at the time of his enlistment, he "...was a resident of squabble state, State of North Carolina ... that part of the territory that laid between what was called Walkers Line and Henderson's Line and if there was any country covering it at that time, he does not recollect it..." FIELDS added that the operations of his company were "...mostly confined to the valley of the Holstin River as that was then the western frontier... that forces under the command of Col. SEVIER was dispatched to the settlements for the protection of the immigrants, that they moved from one place to another and in building block houses and forts. That they built (?) Shelby's Fort and Bledsoes (?) Fort..." and were engaged in "defending the different neighborhoods and families and the base of operation included from Shelby's fort to the Tennessee river, from 150 miles to 2 hundred miles backward and forward as the {?} demanded..." (2)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cherokee by Blood, David Vann

Indian Traders

European Indian traders, British soldiers and merchants that married Native American women, passed their family names on to their offspring, disrupting the Native traditions of child naming. Europeans were determined to continue their well-established system of family relationships with the Scottish ‘cousin system’, used through Western Europe, to prevent possible incest in future generations.

Native Americans had a long-standing system that prevented incest by prohibiting anyone from the Mother’s Clan from marrying. They had a matriarchal system of family relations where blood relationships were passed from mother to child. A child born into any one Clan was prohibited from marrying anyone else from that same Clan, but condoned marriage to any of the other Clans.

In many cases, Indian Traders were ‘traveling salesmen’ and had ‘families’ in each town they visited on their established route. This is how the same family names appeared in the various Indian Nations at the same time. Since the mother’s Clan was responsible for the raising and teaching of all children born into that Clan, the mother’s were not very concerned as to whom the father really was, as the child belonged to the Clan.
continue here

image credit:
Vann's website