Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

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a perplexing Granville question… or two…

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a map to set the table…

Click on the filename below where it says “download” to get the best image … which you can zoom.

My personal interest in this map is one George Anderson who died 1757, testate. I have a theory that he may have family ties to some neighboring SIMS folks.

A certain Benjamin SIMS happens to be something of a hotshot celebrity by colonial standards, i.e., he was a pre-revolutionary “hellraiser” which forthwith got my patriotic juices all atwitter and excited… that’s how I roll.

Some background on Benjamin Sims… of Granville County… this little booklet was published in 1905 (and referred to then as “old”).

So its seems that Mr SIMS sold some property to my guy George Anderson … who shortly afterwards unfortunately assumed room temperature, as Rush Limbaugh used to say.

Coincidently I have found numerous references to this Mr SIMS… hence I term him as a “Hotshot”.

Now it happens that Benjamin Sims is on my radar… but it seems some other very capable researchers have “claimed” him as a descendant of one Adam Symes of Virginia.

Hmmm… I think… nothing I like better that a good pissing contest. So I read up on the Symes research and find it “plausible”.

But! I hasten to exclaim!… my new research is also compelling… or so I may be setting myself up.

And so it began that I started this new Granville map project to settle this conundrum once and for all. At which time shortly into the project I ran across this problem… the modern location of the creek called Buffalo Creek is on the SOUTH side of Tar River. Many of the key players I am researching are on Buffalo Creek. Alas! I find on the Mouzon map of 1775 the Buffalo Creek is on the NORTH side of tar River.

If you study the map above a bit and center your focus on the locus of Buffalo Creek and Tar River you will find the confluence of Osborn Jeffries, Matthews (who sold to a Hunt) and Robert Moody. There is NO WAY in hell I can make that happen. (by mapping parlance).

Now look at the Mouzon map of 1775…

So… can anyone explain this?

Hmmm… to bring the question home, the question is, is Buffalo Creek north or south of the Tar River?

Tread lightly my friends, this is a difficult question.

Written by anderson1951

November 23, 2022 at 1:45 pm

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a new map Blackwater West

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I just posted this as a new Page… a couple titles down under Pages to the right.

The file is HUGE… so be patient for it to load… it may be doing some weird things so I may have to make another attempt to publish it.

Click on the filename for the larger image (the PDF version). It renames itself to an older filename so that is weird.

Give it a try…

Written by anderson1951

November 20, 2022 at 9:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Nansemond map updated…

with 10 comments

See the Page to the right about a half dozen titles dow,,,

I’ve been working on the Chowan “precinct” area south of Nansemond. I still find it bizarre that the county just expanded the city of Suffolk into the the new county and dissolved Nansemond. But I guess thats how modern “planners” plan. I suspect a tax base and possibly likker was involved.

Of great and miraculous aid to me is the website:

A goldmine of patents at your fingertips… I could not do this map without it. Of particular interest to me is the recent addition of the early patents of Chowan which includes the “precinct” when Chowan was “HUGE” as compared to the tiny modern county. Many of these early “Precinct” patents extended all the way to the Roanoke River. And vice-versa, all the way to the Dismal Swamp.

From the 1600s up to 1728 when Wm Byrd surveyed the state line, the two colonies would joust, meader, squirm and trespass in the area as they felt like… it particularly ticked off the Virginia castletrash… but thats another topic. So I generally search the Library of Virginia Patents AND the NC Land Grants when I suspect someone was from the area.

Check it out… if you disagree with my map data or can add some info feel free to comment… It takes a Village as the heinous and criminally inclined Hillary Clinton would say.

Written by anderson1951

November 17, 2022 at 7:36 am

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John Brantley study 1727/8

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I was perusing the “Vestry Book: Isle of Wight. Vestry Records 1724–1772” (available at…. fascinating stuff… actual history in the actual handwriting of actual people from the period. I run across this matter-of-fact notation at “Image 18 of 133”:

“Ordered That the Church Wardens bind out two Children of John Brantley Dec’d”

The 1704 Isle of Wight Quit Rents:

Ph. Bratley (sic) 200

Edward Brantley 175

John Brantley 364 (remember the area west of the Blackwater R did not open up for settlement until `1700 or so)

But by 1727 the Brantley clan had crossed the Blackwater River into modern Southampton, VA and a couple more “John” Brantleys had turned up… so Who was this guy dying in 1727? …and these 2 children? So I contacted Ken Brantley (the Brantley Association) and he is scratching his head in Georgia and I am scratching mine in Florida.

Here is a map to jog your memory of the area of “old” Isle of Wight the Vestry Book refers to on the NORTH side of the Blackwater River:

Below you can zoom in

Below is a “processioning” account for part of the area shown on the map above. The map however is from the first patents granted mostly for the mid 1600s. The account below naturally reflects the folks from 50+ years later… but many of the names remain… and the puzzle pieces have been shuffled around… got it? Below is Image 21 from the Vestry Book.

Numerous names of interest are mentioned:

Edward and James Brantley

William Braswell (I think this is the guy who deserted his wife after the Rev Braswell died… he skipped out so to speak)

Edward Brantley (again, are there two?)

Note the areas mentioned:

“the County Line From the first Swamp to the head of Drews Mill Swamp”

I’ll give it a rest now… there is more stuff in the Vestry Book…

Back again…

I have another tidbit from the Vestry Book but first I need to set the table, so to speak… by way of a map, which is my want… if you study this map a bit… all of my motives will become clear (smiling).

If you are really adventurous…type in “brantley” in my search box…

And to satisfy the curious… I do so dearly want to to expose the dirty rotten dog Brantley what knocked up my dear ole Granny…. the sombitch is kin… so I can say that.


After a bit more head scratching, I have convinced myself this Philip Brantley who has this patent of 1724 in lower Isle of Wight (Southampton) is the son of Edward Brantley the immigrant d.1688. It appears from the Vestry Book entry of 1727 that he and his wife Joyce (Lewis) each lived to a ripe old age. I will give my best shot to substantiate that:

The brother of the wife of Philip Brantley was John Lewis who died 1692… note this is only 4 years after the death of the immigrant Edward Brantley in 1688. Here is the abstract of his will by Chapman:

LEWIS, JOHN: Leg.- Phillip Brantley and his five children; Sister Joyce Brantley; Phillip Pardoe; Elizabeth Pardoe; Sarah Dadway; my mother Rebecca Pardoe. Mother, Extx. D. 1st of Xber 1692. R. Dec 9, 1692. Wit: Thomas Ranckhorne, Richard Piland, John Shelton. Page 320 Pg 34 (Chapman Book)

Joyce (Lewis) Brantley had birthed 5 living children by 1692. This couple were not spring chickens in 1727-

Jn.o Davis was awarded 940 lbs of tobb. for “keeping” phillip Brantley. My assumption is that he was old and infirm since he is being “kept” and Mr Davis is being compensated for it. Recall also that Phillip sold the land left him by his father, the immigrant, to one John Davis-


“tract of land and plantation situated lying and being in Isle of Wight County whereon the said Phillip Brantley dewleth 100 acres being part of a grant of 675 acres dated Oct 20, 1669 to Edward Brantley by the last will & testament and devised to said Phillip.

Witness: Joseph Chapman, Wm Harrison

At the same time on the same page is this:

“To Edward Brantley” for Joyce Brantley 75″ [lbs tobb]

This Phillip Brantley is purported to have a son Edward Brantley. My assumption is that this is the son caring for his mother. As I have not found an Edward near the property of this Phillip Brantly I hazard a guess that this Edward Brantley was the one who settled near the Meherrin River in 1717… it is about 20 miles to the west. …Chapman’s abstract of his will:

BRANTLEY, EDWARD: Of Nottoway Parish. Leg.- wife Elizabeth; son James; son Lewis; son Joseph; son John. Exs, sons Lewis and James Brantley. D. Jan. 26, 1736. R. April 25, 1737.

Wit: Joseph Claud, James Bass, William Spence, Charles Bass. Page 157

Note the very helpful clue in the will: “Of Nottoway Parish”. Remember that Nottoway Parish was formed from Newport Parish in 1734. Remember also that Nottoway Parish was identified as “to the west of Blackwater River”. This clearly proves that this Edward Brantley was not living anywhere near the historical and older Isle of Wight properties to the east of Blackwater.

Note also the witnesses to the will, specifically James Bass and William Spence… but not to slight the “Claud” mention. See my map below:

But alas (sounding all Shakespearian like) , I have still not identified the mystery John Brantley who is the subject of this Post. But according to my notes in the PDF file below, he was not the son of this Phillip Brantley. Ooops, after some thought, the John mentioned below could be a grandson or the son of Phillip’s Sr son Phillip. So I can’t rule out the death of Phillip Sr son John… whew.

Click to access brantley-ph-notes-1.pdf

As a final tedious proof that this Philip Brantley can be identified as the son of the Immigrant in this 1724 patent in modern Southampton I reference a will dated 1752 in which his son Phillip Jr is a witness. The will is for Nicholas Cobb a neighbor.

To belabor the point a bit more… relating to the Edward Brantley property location…


Well Ken Brantley and I have been comparing notes. According to this article, Phillip Brantley the son of the immigrant Edward d1688 seems to get lost in some confusion.

Here is my theory…

Edward Brantley d 1688

…Phillip Brantley d 1727 wife Joyce Lewis d 1727

sons of Phillip1 d 1727

…son Edward Brantley d 1736 on Flat Swamp in Southampton near Meherrin River (this guy is mentioned in the will of Edward d 1688 “I do give and bequeath unto Edward Brantley the son of my son Phillip one bay mare”

…son Phillip2 (P his mark) Brantley d aft 1758 inherits the 1724 Southampton property of his father Phillip1

…son John is the one mentioned in the Vestry Book who dies about the same time as his father Phillip1 about 1727 (leaving 2 orphans who are bound out)

This leaves at least two children of Phillip1 I have not accounted for. Remember he had five children in 1692:

LEWIS, JOHN: Leg.- Phillip Brantley and his five children; Sister Joyce Brantley; Phillip Pardoe; Elizabeth Pardoe; Sarah Dadway; my mother Rebecca Pardoe. Mother, Extx. D. 1st of Xber 1692. R. Dec 9, 1692. Wit: Thomas Ranckhorne, Richard Piland, John Shelton. Page 320 Pg 34 (Chapman Book)


Written by anderson1951

September 18, 2022 at 6:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Thomas Pitman d. 1754/5 Edgecome

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Some missing sons… only two of eight sons are named in his will. Linda Smith has shared some family documents… one document is the Will of Lott Pitman who is named in the Will of Thomas Pitman d 1754.

The other named son is Thomas Pitman also cited in the will of Thomas d.1754.

Lott Pitman names another son “Newit” in the attached will which has been in her family records. Also attached are some letters concerning a William Pitman from Robeson, NC to Marion District, SC and elsewhere…

We welcome a discussion and any more clues that can be provided. Sorry for my tardiness, Linda sent me this info Oct. of last year. I should be feathered… and threatened with a good tarring.

This link is the original Page with a bit more info on ole Thomas…

Hmmm… the mention of the name “Gaddy” in the letter above shows up in some of my notes concerning Marion District, SC.

Some notes about Abner Pitman of Edgecombe, NC.

Abner was born in Edgecombe but later moved to Marion District, SC… here is the background I have compiled:

I still do not know “for sure” which Joseph Pitman was his father. Ya gotta love a tough brick wall.

Also, I do not know of any relationship of this Abner Pitman to the other Pitmans discussed above. (other than the “Marion” connection.

Written by anderson1951

April 22, 2022 at 4:25 pm

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The Edgecombe Detective Agency

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Is desirous of a motivated Investigator to look into a case recently brought to our attention.

While researching some long dead folks on the NS (North Side) of Tar River near to the Conoto Pocoson area of sd county, your overly wary and suspicious blog host has run across some peculiar happenstances noted in the Edgecombe County deeds. Forthwith, to elaborate:

Whoa Nelly! I thinks to myself… who the hell is this John Green who held 2000 acres in the Conoto Pocoson on the NS Tar River? And to add to my addled confusion… who is this curious Christopher Green? Hmmmm.

I quickly find another suspicious deed… this one referencing a Thomas Newsom but noting the same characters noted in the deed above. Forsooth! This also catches the eye of noted abstractor CTC who notes in all caps: “CHRISTOPHER GREEN MAY BE CHRISTOPHER GWINN”.

And with this third deed it is made more clear the nefarious activities and dark motives of this Christopher Gwinn fella. Merchant my ass! I smell a Swindler.

I suspect the conniving Gwinn fella realized he had his hands on 2000 acres of essentially counterfeit deeds. He was basically selling the counterfeit deeds back into circulation rather than exposing the initial theft of Lord Granville’s property. A more kind-hearted soul other than myself may believe he was simply duped by John Green. I doubt it. In the 1720s, roughly, there was what was known then as the “Blank Patent Scandal”. Most, if not all, of the criminals running the colonial government were happily passing out blank patents to be filled in by the purchasers. For a fee of course. They generally operated out of Bath Precinct which housed Beaufort County… where I suspect John Green hailed from. John Green being the culprit who merrily filled in 2000 acres of land situated around eastern Conoto Pocoson just north of the Tar River which would eventually become Edgecombe County. Christopher Gwinn “somehow” acquired the sd 2000 acres from John Green. Viola! we have a conspiracy.

I offer my evidence:

James Castellaw “knew”… Gnome Sane?

This type of land scandal was evidently commonplace… but you can only push people so far.

The Enfield Riot 1759. The year The Boys Got Pissed!.

Written by anderson1951

March 10, 2022 at 10:01 am

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Cheek’s Mill Creek

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Back a bit in time to 1873…

Penny Hill is (was) the easy to find focal point of the area… find Tar River and follow it to the county borders of Edgecombe and Pitt. There is a modern bridge there now… that is Cheek’s Mill Creek. Penny Hill looks to be a very modern Solar Panel Farm nowadays…Who’dAThunkIt? I used Google Maps to visit the place and snoop around. There is narry a trace of the history that went on there.

Below is the area during the Civil War…1863ish. Penny Hill only had four map dots then… but note some of the folks living a bit north of there- W. and T. Little, J. Thigpen, T. May and W. Cobb to note a few. These names are all descendants of the colonial settlers. The guy I am tracking is Henry Anderson; he was there and died 1801, I am clueless when he first got there, perhaps more on him later but I have become enthralled by all the history. Note that the roads shown go back to the early days… starting about 1737 (or earlier)… mere wagon trails then. The earliest road I find mentioned went all the way to Bath Town.

120 years or so before the T. Little mentioned on the Civil War map above was a progenitor of the Little Clan named Thomas Little. Here is an example of how I find, track and map these folks:

The roads are very helpful to help me place these deeds on to the maps I create. The hilarious spelling of ” Tusckoanra” in the mention of the main Road to Bath town makes me curious as to what in hell they were referring to? Remember that the town of Tarboro was not much more than perhaps a tavern and a warehouse at the time if that. Edward Teach (Blackbeard the pirate) had been hobnobbing with the “royal” criminals (government officials) in Bath Town a mere twenty years or so before this Little deed. Pitt County was unknown and called Beaufort. I trying to find Tranter’s Creek as I type.

Dawn King commented about “The Doctor’s Office”…

To be continued… this may be very long-winded… there was a lot going on back in the day…


In an article for the Tarboro Press written in 1842, the newspaper staff trots out an even earlier article by Jeremiah Battle written by him for the Agricultural Society in 1811. Let that soak in a bit… Mr Battle was more than likely a witness to the American Revolution.

Commenting on when the county may have first been settled, he wrote this:

“…it was probably prior to the year 1726, the oldest land patents we’ve dealt with, bearing this date. As the first settlement of the continent commenced at the mouths of rivers, so these interior settlements commenced at the mouth of creeks progressing upwards, as the natives gave ground. At the mouth of Town Creek it is believed, was the first settlement in the county. The site of Tarborough, and its vicinity, were settled at an early period. The Indians inhabiting these parts were driven by some of the settlers at Bath across Contentnea (creek), where they made a stand and built and dwelt for several years, but were at length besieged and destroyed.”

So just prior to 1737 one Richard Cheek presents a grant for land at a small creek running into Tar River at the boundary of what will be Edgecombe and Pitt Counties. At the time it was Beaufort County and Tar River was then known as Pamptico River. It is all very confusing for new readers in study of the old counties.

So the creek became known as Cheek’s Mill Creek. Mr. Cheek dies by 1745 but the name survived (except for an irritating period when it became Sugg’s Mill Swamp but we won’t tarry in a discussion- that is what it is referred to on the 1905 map but not today). My personal study of this area is my interest in one Henry Anderson who briefly owned some of the original Cheek property. Henry Anderson died in 1801 and his property was passed on to his family until they died or moved on. Reconstructing the history of the various and sundry property owners has proven to be a daunting task. But remember that my starting point is just after an Indian footprint was the only thing in the area… and perhaps an occassional watersnake slithering across the creek.

Next in line for ownership is (perhaps) John Burney who married the daughter of Richard Cheek and thereby inherited some of the land by marriage; he was an Executor to the Estate along with two sons of Cheek. Much confusion begins as the property is carved up between the numerous sons of Richard Cheek and sold piecemeal to different buyers.

Here is a taste of what I am dealing with…

I am presently trying to figure out who bought the carved up land… I know Edward Cobb, et al, got some of it… (you can see Henry Anderson’s patents buried in the Richard Cheeek’s 640 acre patent).

Written by anderson1951

March 2, 2022 at 7:51 am

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some random Edgecombe folks…

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David Gammon and I have been trying to out-lie each other lately and I was going to shoot him an email to ruffle his feathers over some of his dead peeps. He has helped me muchly with some of my dead-uns and I like to reciprocate when I can… but instead I figure I will share with the class just for sh*ts and giggles. I am WAY down the rabbit hole with this Edgecombe map and beginning to LOSE CONTROL… by that I mean there is so much selling and trading and shudder Capitalism going on that the sheer amount of layers I develop on the map makes it unreadable. This particular area (roughly Walnut Creek) never ceases to surprise me the deeper I dig… surprising to me were the Forts and Braswells… my mental picture had them mostly North of the Tar River (in MY mind). In reality they were all over the southside of Tar River. Here is a snippet of the area…

Click on the filename by the Download button to view the larger file.

Note the William Deloach patent near the center in the above map… here is a bit of the details of discovering who were his neighbors… and I am only partially done. That tiny little RED patent is only 10.5 acres but is packed with clues.

This is related to the tiny little red patent in the Deloach patent…

Edge. Co. Db 17, page 380, deed date 13 May 1821, recorded Nov Ct 

1821, by virtue of an order by Nov Ct to sheriff to take the sum of 

$800 from the property of Sampson Newsom which James Gray’s admr 

recovered against said Newsom and Joseph Armstrong, Sheriff Spencer L. 

Hart sold at public auction on 17 Feb 1820, where Wells Draughon was 

the highest bidder at $562 for two tracts of land, first tract 

beginning at a pine in Edmund Clark’s corner formerly William Deloach 

then 238 poles to a red oak then north (200) poles to a maple standing 

in a branch then down the courses of the branch to a pine standing 

where the path crosses said branch at the Beaver Dam then south to the 

beginning containing 223 acres, it being the land where said Armstrong 

lives, also, one other tract of five acres joining the same beginning 

at a lightwood post in Josiah Perry’s line then north along said 

Armstrong’s own line to (Dunnons Branch) to a pine said Armstrong’s 

corner then down the various courses of said branch to a persimmon tree 

& maple at the mouth of a small branch Josiah Perry’s corner then up 

the said branch to the head at a post oak then to the beginning, signed 

S.L. Hart, Sheriff, acknowledged in court by S.L. Hart, Sheriff.  

Abstracted 3 Aug 07, NCA film C.037.40015, CTC.

The Newsom guy is noted as living near the Edmund Clark guy who is noted on the William Deloach patent… see how all this work… cool stuff.


Here is a slightly less info-packed version of some of the Walnut Creek area… I am still trying to figure out the best way to present this data. I’m considering doing it by (perhaps) a 20 year time span? Any ideas?

Written by anderson1951

February 19, 2022 at 10:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

a new map

with 2 comments

I started this one as a “study” of the Back Swamp area of Nansemond… but for a while I have been intrigued with the idea of mapping the entire colonial county … resurrecting it from the ashes as it were. It has been thoroughly burned three times in its history. It is the worst of the worst “burned counties” and has even been trashed as a county by ending its name and calling it by a town’s name… all for the purpose of collecting taxes from the farmers for the city folk (in my humble opinion).

But to “toot my own horn” a bit… this bit of mapping takes on a new level of accuracy. I have been doing this for over ten years and my “methods” have improved. Now I make a “data sheet” for each colonist from the Library of Virginia and any other pertinent source I can muster up. All of which will allow anyone to “check” my data… Which is the very essence of true genealogy.

Check over to the right under Pages… feel free to ignore my rants about politicians… I can’t help myself, its like some sort of Touretts symdrome.

Written by anderson1951

February 18, 2022 at 6:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Its just a white lie…

with 3 comments


Daughter of

George & Rachel Anderson

Born 1784

Died March 26, 1880

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

its just the George is George Griffis and not George Anderson.

Seems to be a bit of moral chicanery going on here…

My buddy David Gammon has been sleuthing around the Edgecombe Court Minutes lately and sniffed out this bit of inconvenient truth:

“George Griffis ordered to pay Rachel Anderson for begetting a base born child on her body.   August Court 1797.”

One can only wonder nowadays why it would take Rachel Anderson 13 years to seek a court settlement?

And who the hell was George Griffis of Edgecombe?

Written by anderson1951

February 12, 2022 at 5:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized