Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

James Anderson 1716

with 6 comments

This guy has driven me to drink to excess the last 20 years…

Now that I have published my new map

I have discovered (or in my case, rediscovered) some interesting leads concerning this guy.


A comparison of signature marks from two Elizabeth Andersons …

The first is from the will of Elisabeth Anderson’s will of 1732/3. The second is the wife of James Anderson from the deed of sale of land to Joseph Sims in 1721.

My regret as to this being “proof” of the different women is that the 1733 will signature mark was seemingly signed by her daughter. My interpretation of the term “interlined” is that it was added by another hand than her own. But to my point, the second signature mark is clearly an “S”.

My contention is that the 1733 Elisabeth Anderson was his mother. My other theory is that George Anderson, from Isle of Wight, was the husband of Elisabeth who left the will.

I recently found this deed to Joseph Sims… I am no expert but this “may” be his and her “actual” marks by their own hand. This appears to me, without looking at the originals, to be original documents and not a re-copy.

Note the signature mark of his wife Eizabeth. This has prompted me to speculate his wife may be a daughter of this Joseph Sims. I have no proof whatsover… just a feeble hunch and sometimes hunches can be like grabbing a falling knife. (see my lunacy when I convinced myself Elizabeth Pitman was actually a Pitman and not an Anderson gal)

Why would she use an “S” for her mark and not an “E”? My friend David Gammon (noted author of numerous NC abstract books and no slouch when it comes these things) explained to me that the “I” when used instead of “J” for “James” (a capital I with the distinctive slash in the middle) is the LATIN alphabet letter for “J”. Makes sense to me. That “I” with the slash is pretty common in the colonial era… I have seen it numerous times for numerous people. Did he (James) not remember to put the slash in the middle this time? Did the scribe simply overlook that detail. Good Lord… I do get wrapped up in details don’t I?

James Anderson did NOT move to Bath County.(well, my current theory is that he DID NOT) Or if he did it was merely to pick up a case of whiskey to trade to the Indians. (Just KIDDING! I’m sure that James was a teetoteller.)

A side note… Anyone sharing my fascination with this piece of history is welcome to contribute. (I am refering to the Occoneechee Neck Indian Trader Map). While I am finding and building the puzzle pieces that I use to form the map, I get burned out, bored and tend to just break away to keep some modicum of sanity.

I use the Chowan deeds as the First patents/grants. These are almost always the first time this land has been divied up since the Indians were present. If you have a particular ancestor I have not addressed, leave a comment. The Chowan deeds are abstracted by Hofmann in 2 books: North Carolina 1663-1729 Abstracts of Land Patents and Chowan Precinct “Deed” Books 1696-1723.

Secondly, the Bertie deeds, as abstracted by Bell, seem to me to be the process of history to where these initial grants are carved up and left to sons/daughters or sold to other people. Again, if you have an interest… do a bit of research and give me a trail to follow.

Note that most of these folks in this “Indian Trader” map I am exploring are identified by the “Morattock River” or possibly the Yourha/Urah etc. swamp area. Quankey Creek is also a lead as is Conocannara Swamp. I do not want to explore past these boundaries.

As a somewhat different side note, I also research the history. I get all excited and in a tizzy when I find some obscure little morsel of history with a down and dirty account of an Indian Trader. I particularly like the JSTR database (just Google it… you can wrangle free access up to a point) another great source is the NC Archives. Use this link:

… another sidetrack… just to make a point about Indian Traders… these guys would travel across state lines in a heartbeat… it amazes me sometimes.  When I first started researching I had the idea in mind that these early settlers might live and die without venturing perhaps 50 miles from where they were born… and it sometimes was the case, say, for simple farmers.  Such was not the case for the Traders… they were a breed of men a bit out of the ordinary.  And when they were old, worn out and writing their wills they might refer to themselves as “planters”… it was not so in their youth.

Indian Traders “got around” so to speak… as an example…Mr. McGinty was of North Carolina…

“The Deposition of Alexander McGinty, of Cumberland County, Indian Trader

“That this Deponent, with six other Traders, vizt., David Hendricks, Jacob Evans, William Powel, Thomas Hyde, and James Lowery, all of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Jabez Evans, of the Province of Virginia, being on their return of trading with the Cuttawas, a nation who live in the Territories of Carolina, where, on the twenty-sixth day of January, last, attacked and taken prisoners by a company of Coghnawagos, or French Praying Indians, from the River Saint Lawrence, being in number seventy (with whom was one white man, called Philip, a Low Dutchman) at a place about twenty-five miles from the Blue Lick Town, and on the south bank of Cantucky River, which empties itself into Allegheny River about two hundred miles below the Lower Shawnee Town; this Deponent and the said six Traders having then with them in goods, skins, and furs, to the value of seven hundred pounds, Pennsylvania money, which were all taken away from them by the said French Indians. That from thence the said Deponent, with the said David Hendricks, Jacob Evans, William Powell, Thomas Hyde, and Jabez Evans (the said James Lowry having made his escape soon after they were taken as aforesaid, and returned into Pennsylvania, as this Deponent hath since heard), were carried by the said Indians to a French Fort on the Miamis or Twightwee River, and from thence to Fort De Troit, and there the said Jacob Evans and Thomas Hyde ( as they informed this Deponent at the said Fort) were sold by the said Indians to Monsieur Celeron, Commandant of that Fort. And this Deponent, with the said David Hendricks and Jabez Evans were carried forward by the Lake Erie to Niagara, and so through Lake Ontario to the City of Mont Real, and there brought before the General of Canada, who said he would have nothing to do with them, for they were the Indians’ prisoners, and at their disposal. That the said Jacob Evans, Thomas Hyde, and William Powel, were also afterwards sent to Montreal, where this Deponent saw the said Jacob Evans and Thomas Hyde in prison, but were sometime after sent away to Old France, as this Deponent was told at Montreal. That the said William Powel was sent to Canessatawba Town, twenty-six miles from Montreal, and this Deponent to a small Indian Town in the neighborhood of Montreal, where he was kept a prisoner by the said Indians who took him, but was sometimes permitted to go to Montreal. “That the Indians of the Town where he was prisoner, near Montreal, told him that there should not be a white man of the English Nation on Ohio before the next Cold, mean the winter, for the land was their Father’s, the French, and no Englishman should remain there. “That in their passage from Fort DeTroit to Niagara, in Match last, they met on Lake Erie seven battoes at one time, and fifteen at another; and afterwards, in their passage from Niagara to Montreal, they saw on Lake Ontario 160 battoes, or upwards; in all which battoes were embarked French soldiers, with arms and ammunition, some of them having twelve, some ten, and some eight men on board.”

Wow… just Wow… a group of 70 Indians grab your happy ass and cart you off to Canada as a prisoner… and you live to tell about it….

Will of Alexander McGinty

In the name of God, amen, I Alexander McGinty of the County & State of No. Carolina, being weak in body but of perfect mind & memory, thanks be given unto God calling into mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is appointed for men once to die do make & ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally & first of all give & _____ _____ my soul unto the hand of Almighty God ___ it and my body ___ to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but a the general resurrection I shall possess the same again by the mighty hand of God and as touching such worldly estate whereas it hath pleased God to gie me in this life, I give devise & dispose of the same in the following manner & form

Item – I will & bequeath unto my beloved wife the plantation whereon I now live for her life with all my stock of horses, mares, bulls, cows & calves, sheep & hogs, all the household furniture & farming utensils with all the debts ___ ___ ___ I allow her to collect for her own use with what money we have ___ to be at her own disposal – except one hundred dollars to each of my grandchildren viz. Mary Ann McGinty at the discretion of my ___ put to interest … McGinty … Survey of two hundred & seventy two acres until Henry McDowell my grandson is of age.

Item – I will & bequeath to my grandson Abner McGinty two hundred acres of land in three different surveys joining lines with David & John Parks on the waters of Ready Creek & McAlpins Creek, likewise one survey of 86 acres joining James Maxwell & William Johnston on the head waters of McKee …

Item – I will & bequeath to my grandson Henry McDowell McGinty the plantation whereon I now live together with the survey of one hundred & seventy two acre with the survey of seventy acres joining it and joining lines with William Johnston.

Item – I will & bequeath to my grandson Alexander Crawford (sic) my silver watch & he is to pay each of the following legatees one dollar to my grandson James Crawford one dollar, to my granddaughter Mary Ann Johnston one dollar, to my granddaughter Martha Miller one dollar, to my grandson James Finney one dollar.

Item – If any of my four grandchildren viz. Abner McGinty, Henry McDowell McGinty, Sophia McGinty of Mary Ann McGinty dies under age his or her shares to be equally divided among the rest. Further I do constitute & appoint my wife Mary Ann McGinty, James Montgomery, John Gingles to be the true & lawful executors of this my last will & testament, abrogating & disannulling & making void & of none effect every other will & wills of testament or Testaments by me or in my name made done or executed possessing this oath, ratifying allowing & confirming this & this only as my last will & testament, Witness my hand & seal this 2nd day of April 1802.

Signed, published, pronounced and ___ by the said Alexander McGinty as his last will and testament in the presence of each other have hereto subscribed our names.

Alexander McGinty (seal)

Guy Maxwell

Hannah McGinty

(reading his will alone, you wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of his “alter ego”…)

Back to my “factual” research… there is an early William Anderson ca. 1732 or so who shows up in Edgecombe Precinct. This was that murky era when it (the brand new county of Edgecombe) was transitioning from Bertie and/or “Bath” in my personal opinion. (Traci and I usually go round n’ round on this point) she likes to keep me on track and I like to push her boundaries.

This is verbatim from one of my earlier Posts. My point here is to recognize and at the same time get rid of this Interloper to my theory.

I visited an obscure site looking for an obscure person and up pops this petition of “maybe” 1732 showing 2 Andersons for that obscure time (1730s).  I’ve yet to find another hard reference for a “Henry” Anderson in Edgecombe Precinct in the 1730s (the “County” came a decade later) .

My point is that in order for these two “petitioners” to be “of age” (21), then they would be born at least 1712… this makes them very early “Edgecombe” Andersons.

Note: The following petition is undated, but appears in the volume containing records from 1664 to 1734; and follows an entry dated November 11, 1732. A similar petition was filed by the citizens of Bertie Precinct.

Read the Petition of the Inhabitants of Edgecombe precinct which is in these words Videlicet

Petition of the Gentlemen of Edgecombe Precinct to alter the Seat of Government
To George Burrington Esqr. His Majestys Capt. General Governour and Commander in chief of the Province of North Carolina

We the Gentlemen and Freeholders of Edgecombe precinct think ourselves Extremely happy under your wise and prudent Administration the good order and peace we see now Established throughout this Province is a most convincing proof of your Excellencys Care and wisdom and deserves the thanks and gratefull Acknowledgment of all men in North Carolina

Good Lord it just chaps my ass to see the olde boys grovel on bended knee before those arrogant sniveling castletrash bafoons…. sorry… got all rebelliously patriotic and stuff… my apologies to you Democrats…

We are sencible Edenton is for many Reasons a very Inconvenient place for the Seat of Government and almost as much may be said against the settling it on Cape Fear River

Therefore we humbly desire and hope your Excellency will take proper measures for fixing the Seat of Government near the Center of the Province which we suppose is between Tar and Neuse River which will give a general Satisfaction to almost all the whole Province and greatly promote the speedy peopling the unsettled part of this Country increase the King’s Quitt Rents and Encourage Trade and Industry and be an Everlasting Demonstration of Goverour Burringtons Kindness to the Inhabitants of North Carolina

That you Sir may in health and happiness long Govern this Province are the Prayers of

Your Excellency most humble and most Obliged Servants

Tranker, James Simons, Will Williams, Pines Welding, Laurence Simcock, Edwd Robinson, Thos. Hodges, John Tapley, John Cotton, Willm. First, John Carpenter, Thos. Tapley, Willm. Reeves, John Robinson, Wm. Hamilton, Alexr. Beane, John Cor, Morris Orane, John Glover, Wm. Cullender, Joseph Richardson, Lewis Elliot, Silvester Estridge, John Gill, Jno. Doron, William Rusil, Chas. Merrit, Samll Murry, John Lew, Henry Anderson, Christ. Beane, James Moor, Benja. Joyner, Geo. Woodliff, Ricd Washington, John Mulkey, Philip Mulkey, Geo. Pace, Rodk. Pearce, Abrah. Ante, Thos. Perry, Danl. Kindal, Henry Jenning, Phil. Murray, Will. Williams Junior, William Paule, Wm. Bauldwin, Jno. Bobbett, William Dennis, Watkin Davis, Robt. Surloe, John Taylor, Thos. Goodson,Henry Guston, James Millikin, Jams. Thomspson, Thos. Jones, John Pratt, Jas. Dyal, Mathew Ruphen, Phillip Jackson, Lewis Davit, Robt. Humphreys, Robt. Humphreys Jr., Wm. Anderson, Thoms. Arrento, Richd Hainsworth Jr., Seth Vatcher, Thomas Hart, Jas. Brogden, John Smith, Robt. Ellis, Thoms. Riggin, Richd. Hill, Rob. Long Junior, Robt Warring, Jonathn. Wright, Will. Norwood, Berry Melton, Chas. McCulloe, Thos. Hicks, John Green, William Fish, Wm. Sturbidge, John Turner Senior, John Tayler, Edward Simons, Small Swaringham, Geo. Bollingson, Wm. Rushen, John Brooke, Wm. Hodges, Robt. Hodges, Danl Crawley,James Smith, John Rogers, Roger Case, Bat. Cheavers, John Branch, Thos. Bradford, W. Bulliloes, Thomas Blackman, Jno. Baldwin, Richd Merrick, Joseph Mechamp, Jas. Moore Junior, Alexr. Wright, William Moore, Walter Turburwell, Isheim Randolph, Nathan Joyner, Joseph Joyner, Gilbert Murray, Peter Ivey, Edward George, James Murray.

(A footnote states that another copy of the petition includes the names of William Whitehead, George Norris and Taphel Dyal.)

Source: Records of the Executive Council, 1664-1734, Vol. 7, (1984) pp. 298 – 299.


There are actually 2 petitions in the records… one for Edgecombe “Precinct” shown above and the second from Bertie Precinct.  The Edgecombe lists Henry Anderson and William Anderson.  The Bertie list contains another William Anderson. So there are 2 Williams at this time of 1732(?).

I suspect the William Anderson of Bertie may be a son of Robert Anderson who lived around Cashy River. But that is a guess... (although I have shown that he DID have a son William)

Two William Andersons that I can identify are the William who dies by 1762 (from Halifax) and my ancestor William who dies in 1789 (Edgecombe) but he was a youngster in 1732 I think.  So I have an obvious interest in the two men of that 1732? Edgecombe petition.

My “gut” is telling me the above William Anderson of the petition is the guy who died in 1762.  But I am open to any comments..

Written by anderson1951

June 11, 2021 at 6:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. My 8th great grandfather. Unfortunately no family papers until James’ Revolutionary War Pension Application. In 1722 this James was “of Bath County”, which became Beaufort. If he retained some land why was he living in Bath? I found the 12 Dec 1720 sale of 100 acres to Joseph Sims and the 3 Mar 1722 sale of 400 acres to Capt. Gray but that would leave 140 acres. ??? This James had at least four sons, probably more, and at least one daughter. His wife Elizabeth was still in Chowan (Bertie Precinct) per her Nov 1732 will. She gifted farm animals but no land. Perhaps she assumed that a son would automatically get the land?



    June 13, 2021 at 11:53 am

    • Here are the 3 deeds where he sold 600 of the 640 acres (of the patent from Braswell)

      pg. 145, James ANDERSON of Chowan Prect. to Robert SIMS of the Prect. afrsd. 11 Nov. 1720, 20 pounds sterling, 100 acres on a Cypress Swamp that makes into Morattock river, joining William BOON, the Cypress Swamp, a Gum Pond and James ANDERSON’s fence, part of a Pattent to William BRASSWELL dated 4 Mar. 1711/12. Wit.: Henry SIMS (his mark), Henry WHEELER. Ack. 5 7ber 1721 by Henry SIMS before me Fred JONES, Ch. Just. Reg. 17 Sept. 1721.

      pg. 176, James ANDERSON of Chowan Prect. and Elizabeth, my wife, to Joseph SIMS of Chowan Prect., 12 Nov. 1720, 24 pounds sterling, 100 acres on the Cypress Swamp that makes out of Morattoke River, joining Robert SIMS, the swamp and a Wett Slash, part of a pattent to William BRASSWELL 4 Mar. 1711/12. Wit.: Matt RUSSIAN, William MURPHEY. Ack. 5 Sept. 1721 by Henry SIMS before me F. JONES, Ch. Just. Reg. 3 8ber 1721.

      Colonial Bertie Co., NC Deed Books 1720-1757 Mary Best Bell Deed Book A

      pg. 19. James ANDERSON of Bath County to John GRAY (Capt.) March 3, 1721/22. 400 a. NS Morattock River in Occoneeche Neck. Part of 640 a. surveyed by Coll. William MAULE for William BRASWELL then sold to Matthew CAPPS, and by CAPPS sold to James ANDERSON. Adj. William BOON, John NELLSON. Wit: Patrick MAULE, Mau. MOORE. April 20, 1722. C. GALE, C/C

      The Elizabeth who died 1732/3 was his mother, not his wife. Compare their different signature marks.

      I will add the signature marks to the Post.



      June 13, 2021 at 2:34 pm

  2. My thoughts… 1.) “hereunto moving” and such wording has tripped up many a genealogist, including me. The meaning is something akin to “I am moved within myself to do this,” not anticipating a physical move. 2.) “Of Bath County” does indeed indicate residence. 3.) It was very common to live one place and own land elsewhere, in some cases in a lot of different places, including “across the pond.” 4.) A woman would not own & be able to devise land by will at this time, unless she was single and there was no male ownership or heirship.


    Traci Thompson

    June 15, 2021 at 7:41 am

    • Traci
      To your point 4…
      I think the will of Elizabeth Anderson d 1733 wherein she disperses personal items, beasts and such but no land backs up your statement.

      Elizabeth Anderson


      Recorded 24 Dec 1733

      In the Name of God Amen: I Elisebth Anderson widow, on the South Side of Meherig River, In Bertie Precinct, In North Carrolina being weak in Body, But in perfect Sence and Memorey Praised be to God for the Sences Considering the Uncertainty of This Life Do make This my Last Will & Testement, As followeth

      I do Bequeat my Soul to God who gave it and my Body to be Decently buryed at The discretion of my Exectrs, Hoping to Receive a Joyfull Resurrection at the Last Day Through Jesus Christ my Saviour.


      I give to my Son James Anderson one Shilling


      I give to my Son Carrolus Anderson one Breeding Mare and one Set of Iron wedges, a set of Harrow Hones


      I give to my Daughter Elisebeth Pitman, one paire of Small Mill Stones


      I give to my Grandaughter Elisebeth Anderson Two Cows and Calves and one Breeding Mare and one Feather Bed and one paire Sheets and one Blanket and one Iron Pot, and pott Hooks, and one Puter Dish and one Frying Pan and one Ewe Sheep and two Glass Bowles & Ten Spoons.


      I give my Daughter Elisebeth Pitmans Son William Anderson one Hiefer.


      I give to my Grandaughter Sarah Anderson Two Cows and Calves, and one Mare, and one Pot, and pot Hoocks, Two Puter Basons. And my own Bed where on I Lie with Furniture belonging there ontoo and one Ewe Sheep and one Chest


      I give to my Sd. Grandaughter, Elisebeth Anderson one Bread Tray, and one parlor, and paire of Fire Tonges.

      And all the Rest of my Maiables within Doors and without Doors, I Doe Give to my afore Said Sarah Anderson my Grandaughter.

      And I doe Appoint my Grandaughter, Sarah Anderson To be my Whole, and Sole, Execetess of This, my Last will and Tesements whatsoever as witness hand and Seal this fifth Day of November 1732.

      Tess by Wss Before Sig’d my Daughter

      Inter Lined

      Elias EF Fort (his mark) Jurat

      Ealen Fort (her mark) Elisebeth (her mark) Anderson

      Hen. Crompton (signed)

      Bertie Precinct August Court 1733

      The Afore Written will was Proved by the Oath of Elias Fort One of the Evidences thereto. Test (signature)?

      (transcribed /MA)

      digital image available online at North Carolina State Archives MARS

      My assumption is that the 2 grandaughters, Elisebeth and Sarah are daughters of James Anderson.

      It is also my assumption that since in the will James Anderson is given one shilling, he is still living and in the area at this date… 1733.



      June 15, 2021 at 8:14 am

  3. Naime releases Bonner (and anybody else) of any further consideration/payments.
    Him/ Bonner hereunto moving, he/Bonner and said Naime…

    The Moving Party: Bonners move in the transaction.


    Jennifer Thornton

    July 8, 2021 at 8:20 am

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