Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

Chuckatuck, Nansemond, Virginia

leave a comment »

I’ve been checkin’ the place out… if you have seen the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” you get a glimpse of my mindset. The old woman in the movie remembers the early days of her childhood and then finds herself an old woman who has to face the reality that time has passed her by and the past has been replaced. I am such a sucker for those types of movies.

The struggling little Historical Society in Chuckatuck is pressing on much like we genealogists who keep lifting up rocks to uncover little gems about the old people of the old times. I never tire of it… I burn out once in a while, only for a while, but I always return to the hunt. Such is the case now… a few of us are researching the Bryans of Nansemond and in the course of that research I have found myself in the area of Chuckatuck and am attempting to better map the old patents and the old folks. (I’m talking about the FIRST folks to own the land… white folks of course mostly, but there was quite a bit of intermingling going on …the Indians just got shoved aside, but I’m sure most of you are familiar with that bit of history). The modern Nansemond Indian Tribe are in the area trying to resurrect a bit of their history.

I find it fascinating to open Google Earth and zoom in and travel around these areas and get a bird’s eye view. In my case I have open a topographic map from the early 1900s where I am laying out a rendition of the old Colonial Patent descriptions to where I can best figure out where and when the old folks actually settled and lived. I zoomed in to that area of Chuckatuck Creek and compared it to some old language I found in the description of the actual patent. I find it unnerving at times to how accurate I can get… a case in point is the old Chuckatuck Grist Mill.

Click to access Nov-2010-newsletter-Chuckatuck-Creek.pdf

Me… being a curious sort of animal, read the description of the Mill on the Chuckatuck website as “Bartlett’s Mill”. No its not, I thought, it was Bradley’s Mill dammit!… let’s get the facts straight. (I’m easily outraged over historical accuracy). (smiling). Here is the first patent I found and dissected:

This patent had a name… that was unusual: Rainsworth Further reading revealed it was the Grandfather of this Bradley who actually received the first patent in 1643… from some earlier guy named Humphry Sconne. Damn, I again thought (I have no idea why I cuss when I think) this Sconne guy damn near had to fight off the Nansemond Indians to get his patent “of two parcels” in 1638.

I further investigated this mystery and came up with a patent for this Bartlett fella… (by this time I am firmly in the corner of Brantley and very suspicious of this Bartlett character) his patent was so “sketchy” and riddled with legalese that I cannot even draw it. What IS explained in the patent is that the old Grampa Bradley had partnered with this Bartlett fella. I think in the end it is obvious that Grampa Brantley won out. And rightly so I might add… although I am not exactly sure why I think that.

The bewildering patent… a real headscratcher…

In any event…I hope I have set the record straight that old man Henry Brantley probably built the mill… not that interloper Bartlett.

an afterthought… If you look at either of the maps above you will note the Godwin Millpond. I am pretty sure that when old man Bradley first rubbed his hands together in anticipation of building his grist mill… that pond did not exist. He had to figure out HOW and where to build the DAM before the mill. (which is why these early mills had to be approved by the community of his neighbors… who might not like having “their” yards flooded so “he” could grind up some corn).

Another aside…

Written by anderson1951

February 14, 2023 at 6:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: