Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

a Tale, a question and a rant…

with 6 comments

A disappearing swamp. So I am working some very early deeds on my Occoneechee Neck map with Jennifer from California who also seems to have ancestors among the rouges of that era.

I was/am attempting to platt a survey of Emperour Wheeler from a Bertie deed of 1728… lo’ and behold the patent discloses the “oddity” of a “first and second” Cypress Swamp. I scratched my head violently at that time.. it still hurts.

A Cypress Swamp for that area is NOT to be found on modern maps (to my knowledge). So if you run across this weird swamp in your research keep this in mind.

Bottom line- Occoneechee Swamp (on modern maps) in Occoneechee Neck was aka Cypress Swamp (for a time).

Now for the question… it seems I have developed a “style” of mapping patents over the last decade or so that is easy for me but difficult to simply explain to others. Hence, I have become somewhat of a lone “expert” if I may be so arrogant. The problem with being your own expert is that you have no one to ask a question of. Capeesh?

Below is what I call a “data sheet”… I hunt down my target (generally from the NC Land Grant and Data) website for North Carolina, an awesome asset by the way, and I find the Metes and Bounds of the patent. The “magic” of what happens then is that those 300 year old survey directions work “precisely” today. Notwithstanding my numerous mistakes. The modern maps of today show “exactly” where the old guys lived. And I do mean “precisely”, you can find old cemeteries and dig up the bones if you call yourself and achaelogist or God forbid, an anthropologist. (See the latest exploits where they merrily are digging up Jamestown, VA old guys. It gives me the creeps.

So here is the question… is there a competent surveyor in my reading audience who I might ask a few technical questions of? They should have some patience because I use a computer program to do the mapping and do not whip out a compass, protractor, ruler and pen and paper, (Metes and Bounds by Sandy Knoll).

The patent above… with the princely name of Emperour Wheeler has the obvious problem that the metes and bounds probably have been corrupted and misinterpreted over the years. I have learned by trial and error over the years to do “minor” corrections to make the patents work. I am however, very hesitant and cautious to do so. I don’t like to mess with the old guys directions! However, I realize that many of these old documents have been re-copied by court house folks over the centuries… and therein can be found unintentional errors. In the above case I find myself clueless to find the errors, which are obvious. Most times I can surround the patent with neighbors and detect the error.

I simply do not have the expertise to “fix” the above patent. A keen observer will realize that (when compared to neighbor patents) it clearly does NOT represent 700 acres… it is a very PUNY 700 acres if correct.

Here is the expanded version with my need to “fix” the Emperour patent. I sent this map to Jennifer from California in our search for her Bryans of that area. Note the John Ha[w]thorn patent (which also has errors)…now look at the neighbor patents which refer to this Hawthorn fella… in a perfect world all these pieces should fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. However… this onslaught of defective patents is severely cramping my style! This whole area of Cypress Creek is NOT fitting together and I am getting extremely irritated with my inability to get on with this THING… hell, I have work to do on my damn Chowan map! smiling…

The Big Kahuna…

But back to the point of this Post… the above patent can be used to “generally” describe an area well enough to do mere genealogy… of which I find interesting. Hopefully this will help to explain why some of my maps have odd “gaps”. Some areas of my maps fit so well that I literally sit back and marvel! at the work of the old surveyors. Hence, the little phrase at the top of my blog page “meant what they said and said what they meant“.

I could do another post on some corruption that I have found in patents, generally by the castletrash bastards that were rampant in colonial government but I prefer to hold my tongue and not waste my time. I do however point it out in my research when they are so reckless and stupid as to expose themselves… i.e. Edward Moseley (he stole the data for his 1733 map. or perhaps I should be more kindly and say “plagiarized” the data). See the patents on my Occoneechee Neck map for Thomas Pollock, the war governor. I find there was a mindset then, and very much today, that this breed of scum that live off our taxes “expect” to be rewarded handsomely simply for sucking vigorously on a hind teet. Sorry… lost my mind for a moment.

Written by anderson1951

December 24, 2022 at 5:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. I



    December 24, 2022 at 8:31 am

  2. Marc … thanks for all the time you have put into this work and then sharing. Can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve used your work as a jump off point in my own research and mapping endeavors.

    IRT the Wheeler plat, I read the first leg as S80E380p vice S30E380p. My plat measures out to 716.1 acres (last leg as a straight line through the edge of the swamp vice the meanders). That first leg marries well to Hawthorns 3rd leg.

    Also recommend evaluating the patents for Phillip Jones (his uncle, Henry, and brother William grabbed land on the neck as soon as it opened up) and John Bobbitt (Bobbitt first lived on 100 acres in the Sturdivant plat, that he bought from Green before acquiring the referenced patent)

    The Reeves patent on that side of the river has been very elusive. Might clear up the errors on the west side of Bobbitt’s patent.

    Here is my interpretation

    My research in this area is centered on George Smith and secondly Henry Jones and William Baldwin (who appears in the William Jones plat (I’m in the belief that plat sits below James Pace Jr’s patent (but haven’t quite worked out all the errors of that plat))).




    December 25, 2022 at 6:38 pm

  3. Mike,
    Your keen observation has solved my problem… that simple but critical change of a 3 to an 8 was the “fix”! This is a clear example of the old adage “if it was a snake it would have bitten me”.
    I see you are a fellow blogger… I may have some questions on this area, you seem well up to speed. marc

    Check out his site…



    December 26, 2022 at 2:11 am

  4. an afterthought…
    As I am working this area… I am not feeling so god-like as to change the course of the great Roanoke River but… if I may be so bold to note that I think it is entirely possible that this Occoneechee “Creek” may have changed course. There is a story of a Welsh or German group of settlers who came down from PA or wherever… they settled in this area (or maybe nearer to Scotland Neck… anyway, a huge “freshett” (flood) came rushing thru and they simply picked up and scurried away westward.

    If you sit back and ponder the map (putting on a geologist’s cap) it is not hard to see that over time (perhaps centuries or thousands of years) it seems apparent that this bottle neck of the Roanoke has spilled over and flooded many times.

    So, I think perhaps we will be given a little leeway here with our mapping conundrum. marc



    December 26, 2022 at 6:18 am

  5. Marc … thanks. I’ve also posted a new article this morning that includes two map snippets that may interest you. First one is centered around the head of the first branch/swamp on the Surry/IOW line. Second map is centered in Surry near the confluence of the Cypress Swamp and Blackriver.

    Both contain plats that I don’t see on your ‘early IOW’ and ‘Surry’ maps. Plats that in my opinion where ‘tricky’ to unearth.

    Would also like to pick your brain, one day, about any work you might have done for the IOW portion of Three Creeks. I’m currently in a data collection phase for my interpertation of that area.




    December 26, 2022 at 7:59 am

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