Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

Nansemond… a map …roughly prior to 1700

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Just after 1700 is when Colonial British settlers began crossing the Blackwater River. Then it begins to get really crowded… just ask the Indians. The royal toadies, lackeys, crooks and pervs in Williamsburg and English trading houses had to basically give up their monopoly of the Indian Trade. The French and Spanish just kept pumping rum, running guns and generally fomenting trouble with the Indians… they were good at it… well not so much the Spanish… they were more comfortable abusing the pre-Mexicans. “Not a joke”… as Biden the Dumbfounded is fond of saying.

Click the “filename” below this image for a bigger pic to zoom… (don’t click Download ..this is too big to print)

Below are some clues I have found to locate and identify the many Creeks, Branches, Swamps and mosquito laden Pocosons…

This little jewel is a favorite of mine… I forget the source but it is 1600s…note near the word NANTEMOND is subnamed a creek called INDIAN BRANCH. As far as I have found, this is the only map reference I have ever found for Indian Creek (other than the many mentions in the patents referencing it).

Also it seems to me that this explains why the old boys referred to Nansemond as “Upper” and “Lower”… also the county known as Norfolk. My assumption is that they displayed these maps “as they would arrive on ships from England”. I t makes perfect sense from that perspective that Nansemond at the Blackwater River say, would be “upper”.

This map is purported to be dated about 1834… it clearly depicts Bennets Creek as beginning low in the Chowan River of NC and extending to just north of the State Line into Nansemond County. Also of interest is Cypress Swamp, Mossey Swamp and Middle Branch. All of which I have dutifully labeled on my map above.

Many “lost” creeks and such are mentioned in the patents… I try to note them when appropriate. (you never know when a clue may pop up… I know how you nitpicky genealogists are).

The below map is by “the process of elimination”. I have never found a map showing Barbique Swamp in Nansemond. If you carefully study the patents and compare the neighbors the creeks will reveal themselves.

See William Thompson and his patent being “at the head of Mossey Swamp”

See his neighbor Humphry Griffin and Abraham Reddick “on Cypress Creek”.

And since we are in Humphry Griffin’s neighborhood, see his patent “on Crosse Swamp” that “goes out of Barbique”.

Dragon Swamp is shown on modern maps.

And lest we forget about the western part of Nansemond that existed up until 1749 when Southampton was carved out of Nansemond and Isle of Wight.

Below is an example of how I tackle tracking down info on someone I am attempting to map. In this case a lady (Donna) contacted me questioning if I could help her unravel a “John White” in the area of Nansemond or NC… which in this time span would include Chowan “precinct”. I think it is pretty self explanitory where I looked.

But don’t forget the NC Archives online.

See the above map under the words Chowan Indians… I am trying to locate a “Sandy Run”…

Oh… and if you have any info on John White please comment…smiling

Written by anderson1951

February 17, 2022 at 5:14 pm

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