Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

that Pitman gal…

with 29 comments

I may have some fun with this Post at some future time… it was written years ago while I was full of piss and vinegar.   I have since came back to Earth and now propose that the “Pitman Gal” was the daughter of Elizabeth Anderson d1733.  She had an illegitimate son named William and he inherited his mother’s maiden name. At some point she married a Pitman fellow (unknown but seemingly a James Pitman).  Later events in Edgecombe County possibly supports this theory.

But then again… the info below is not to be sneezed at.  There seem to be 2 Pitman Gals.


While gathering my thoughts to entertain the bartender with some of my genealogy theories I was struck by a profound epiphany… “Well Hell!…one of those Anderson boys knocked up that Pitman gal from across the creek!”

(excerpt from will of Elizabeth Anderson 1733)


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


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

(William Anderson was the son of either the blood daughter of Elizabeth Anderson and illegitimate or the child of Elizabeth Pitman from next door.  Either way he was a bastard.  Or in a tidy world a “deceased son” of Elizabeth Anderson prompted her to remarry  ______ Pitman and he also died prior to 1748… leaving her a widow.  The “deceased son” is a viable theory because there was a shadowy man in the Bertie records named Thomas Anderson.

In 1716 James Anderson acquires some property near Occoneechee Neck… he buys it from Matthew Capps.   Initially Capps seems to make a deal with one Thomas Anderson but then the final deal is with James…  what to make of it all?  I have a copy of the deed and there is no mention of a Thomas?

Chowan County, North Carolina Cross Index to Deeds – Grantees 1696-1878 Vol B 

Transaction: Assignment
1st Grantee Last Name: Anderson
1st Grantee First Name: Thomas
Grantor First Name: Matthew
Grantor Last Name: Capps
Year: 1716
Book: B
Page #: 345

Here is Hofmann’s abstract:

CHOWAN PRECINCT. NORTH CAROLINA , 1696-1723  Margaret M. Hofmann  Deed Book B #1

#889 pg. 345, Matthew CAPPS and Elizabeth CAPPS to James ANDERSON, 12 July 1716, assignment of a sale of land formerly belonging to William BRASSWELL. Wit: William BRASSWELL, Edward HOWARD. Reg. 6 Aug. 1716


DEED BOOK C #1, Chowan County, N.C.

#1552 pg. 360 JAMES COURLEE to WILLIAM DOWNING  27 Mar. 1721 assignment of a Pattent dated 7 Mar. 1717/18 for 320 acres

Wit.  THOMAS ANDERSON, WILLIAM SHARP   Ack. 29 Mar. 1723 before me C. GALE, C. Just.   Reg. 6 Apr. 1723

So I am left clueless to find anything else concerning this Thomas Anderson…

William Byrd, with all his pomp and circumstance, while surveying the “Dividing Line Twixt Virginia and N Carolina”  in 1728 prided himself in carting around a minister to “legitimize” the great unwashed North Carolina heathens…his remarks literally dripped with disdain.  As example, his remark concerning Carolus Anderson- “We went to a House just by the River-Side, belonging to a Man, who learnedly call’d himself Carolus Anderson, where we christen’d his child.”  In his manuscript designed for the public Byrd did not hesitate to correct the arrogance of the “learned” man from NC and called him Charles.  My point is this there were no ministers in this part of NC and the only “legal” marriage was by an Anglican minister, i.e. Church of England.   For reasons, noted later below, I think it likely she was a widow.)


Close up of Mosely map 1733=   Carolus Anderson and Thomas Pitman properties

Isle of Wight County this third Day of March 1728–
Whereas I Thomas PITMAN of the County aforesaid do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following. First, my Soul I desire to return to God who gave it, My Body to be decently Buried, and for my Estate real and personal to be disposed of as follows (viz) My Son Thomas I desire may have an entry of Land lying up the Creek containing an hundred and fifty Acres and he having two thousand Nails to build him a house out of the Estate. For my Son Samuel I desire may have the Plantation lying on Dicks Marsh bounded by a line of Mark Trees containing an hundred Acres. To my Son Robert a piece of Land lying on the upper side of the Long Grand containing fifty Acres. For my Son Ambrose the upper part of the Survey lying above the Marsh branch containing forty Acres. For my sons John and Arthur the place called the hedge pen Neck and containing One Hundred Acres. My Sons Samson and Joseph my mannour plantation containing an hundred and Ten Acres. To my six Daughters Five Pounds to each being Ann, Olive, Pratta, Elizabeth, Lucy, and Faith and for the rest of my Estate after my debts are paid I desire may be equally shared by my Trustees among all my children. I do appoint Robert Lancaster, Wm John Dunkley and Robert Monger jun, Trustees and my son Thomas PITMAN Executor of this my last Will. I do desire my Trustees may value my Estate and equal share it without any Cost, Charges and carefully take care of it.
Joseph E. Strickling                                                                             Thomas ( tp ) PITMAN
Thomas Pitman
Edw. Hood

At a Court held for Isle of Wight County the 28th day of September, 1730–
The last Will and Testaament of Thomas PITMAN Deceased was presented in Court by Thomas PITMAN Executor and being proved by the Oaths of the Witnesses thereunto is admitted to Record. Test. James Ingles CC

From the research of Donald Gordon (a Pittman descendant):

Thomas Pitman,of Monmouthshire, England, fled England during the Cromwell rebellion and landed in Virginia in 1649. He purchased land in Surry County, Virginia and had two sons Thomas and William. This grandson, the third Thomas moved about 1707 to Isle of Wight County. His daughter Elizabeth and son Robert, with Robert’s two sons, Samuel and Joseph moved to Edgecombe County North Carolina about 1738. Deeds in Edgecombe County show Robert, Samuel, Joseph and Elizabeth holding several hundred acres in the area North and West of Tarboro. Joseph who first appears on Edgecombe records as a bailiff of the court had a son Abner (b. 1758) and grandson born 1787. By this time the Pitmans became Pittmans and all spelled their name with two tees . The Pittmans held land North of Leggett stretching into southern Halifax County. Here Joseph and his wife Mary had a son Henry Elias born 1828. In 1850 Henry married Lucy Anderson who in 1852 gave birth to Biscoe Pittman who married Martha Alice Walston. To this marriage was born, as the last of eight children, Hobson Lafayette Pittman (1899) at Epworth.


I checked the Pittman file at the Blount Bridgers house – The item you had was an exact quote from the paper by Donald Gordon who was a nephew of the artist Hobson Pittman. There is no other information about Elizabeth and Donald’s research was not documented. He came down through Abner and Joseph’s lines which he worked on. (Monika Fleming, Tarboro, NC)


In 1748 Elizabeth Pitman obtained a survey for 300 acres surveyed by James Alston with Gregory Stalings and John Stalings as chain carriers.  The land was “Lying on the No side of Tarr river beg. att a Red Oake in James Pittmans”.

The James Pitman noted above had property from a patent he received in 1743… it adjoined the property that Elizabeth Pitman received in 1749.  However, James Pitman had left Edgecombe by 1746.  I believe this was the son of William Pitman Jr of Isle of Wight Co, VA.  In 1748 James Pitman leaves a track of records in IOW.  Hence, he was not the husband of this Elizabeth Pitman and she was not his widow.  A maddening coincidence is that the wife of James Pitman was also named Elizabeth… go figure.


Elizabeth Pitman received her Granville grant March 25th, 1749; her adjoining neighbor, William Anderson, had his survey for 240 acres performed on April 4th, 1752.


“May. 5. 1753. Then laid out unto William Anderson 240 Acres of Land in Edgecomb County Joyning the Lands of Andrew Ross and Widow Pittman beginning at a white Oak…”

Chaincarriers were Arthur Anderson and James Anderson


The Estate Sale noted below “may” be this Elizabeth Pitman living near her “possible” brother Robert Pitman (near modern Enfield, NC) in 1744…

1744 – Estate Sale of Joseph Redding, merchant – deceased.It appears to me this court document is from the area now in Halifax County.  (The majority of names mentioned correspond to the area east of Enfield)


Several names appear on this inventory which caught my eye:

Elizabeth Pittman John Mchinne (McKinne) Robert Coleman Andrew Ross

I think this is the sister of Robert Pitman. None of the other Pitmans are noted on this Estate Sale so I am assuming this is the independant Elizabeth Pitman and not the wife of either of the 3 Pitman brothers also in the immediate area at this time. (namely- Thomas, Ambrose and Robert Pitman). My point is that this lends more evidence to her having moved with her brother Robert from Meherrin River near Carolus Anderson to Edgecombe Precinct around 1738. This also places her miles north of James Pitman when he first got his land at Tar River in 1742.



Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1715 -1716

North Carolina. General Assembly

November 17, 1715 – January 19, 1716

Volume 23, Pages 1-96


An Act for Preventing Disputes concerning Lands already Surveyed.

VII. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority afors’d that all Surveys or Patents hereafter to be made or granted for the land or Plantation of any Deceased person the same shall be made & granted in the name of the Heirs at Law which nevertheless shall not Bar any that have Title by Dower or Curtisie or by the Will of the Deceased possessor: but that every Title or Claim shall stand good & strong in Law as they might or ought to have done if the Deceased possessor had in his life time Surveyed & taken out a Patent for the same in his own name.


An Act Concerning Proveing Wills and Granting Letters of Administration and to prevent Fraudes in the Management of Intestates Estates.

VIII. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority afors’d that all & every person or persons for whom Administration shall be granted shall distribute the surplusage of such Estate or Estates in manner following, that is to say One Third part of the said Surplusage to the Wife of the Intestate & all the rest by Equal portions to & among the Children in case any of the said Children be then dead, other than such Child or Children (not being Heir at Law) who shall have any Estate by the settlement of the Intestate or shall be advanced by the Intestate in his Lifetime by portion or portions equal to the share which shall by such distribution be Allotted to other Children to whom such distribution is to be made. And in case any Child other than the Heir at Law who shall have any Estate by settlement from the said Intestate or shall be advanced by the said Intestate in his Lifetime by Portion not equal to the share which will be due to the other Children by such distribution as afors’d (such settlement or advancement to be adjudged to the Value it was worth at the time of the settlement or Advancement) then so much of the surplusage of the Estate of such Intestate to be distributed to such Child or Children as shall have any land by Settlement

rom the Intestate or were Advanced in the Lifetime of the Intestate as shall make the Estate of all the said Children to be equal as near as can be estimated. But the Heire at Law notwithstanding any land that he shall have by descent or otherwise from the Intestate is to have an equal part in the Distribution with the rest of the Children without any consideration of the Value of Land which he hath by descent or otherwise from the Intestate.

IX. And in Case there be no Children nor any Legal Representatives of them then one Moiety of the said Estate to be allotted to the Wife of the Intestate the Residue of the said Estate to be distributed equally to every of the next of kindred to the Intestate who are in equal degree & to those who legally represent them.

Written by anderson1951

August 23, 2009 at 7:02 pm

29 Responses

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  1. A couple observations: I have found a lot of recorded illegitimate births among Pitmans in Nash Co NC; lately I have been finding that some fathers of illegitimate children later marry the mother but the children (usually sons) have to go to Court to legally use their natural fathers’ surnames. I guess I am saying that Anderson might have been a Pittman by birth and he never went to the trouble to, or never had the correct evidence to, legally change his name to Pittman (and I get the impression that the name change was not an easy task).


    Guy Baker

    December 9, 2009 at 5:21 am

  2. Reference your Elizabeth Pitman in 1740: 1) James Pitman, son of Moses Pittman, was most likely unborn in 1740 as I have Moses born in/before 1736; 2) Falling Run and many of the names associated with the notes were later in Nash Co NC (formed in 1777); I already have Benjamin Pittman and his brother Joseph far east of this location BUT James Pittman was the only proven son of William Pittman, the probable father of Benjamin and Joseph. You might want to find out what happened to James from Surry Co VA, son of William.

    Please, how do you know James’ wife was named Elizabeth? Do you mean Moses’ wife?

    Thomas Pittman died about 1755 and I have found his sons recorded in areas that became Nash Co in 1777 but this James was too old to have been a son of Thomas (I believe).


    Guy Baker

    December 9, 2009 at 8:12 am

    • re: The wife of James-

      James Pitman and Elizabeth Pitman of Edgecombe Co. to JOHN STALLINGS of Edgecombe Co., 21 February ____, 20 pounds current money of Virginia. 200 acres on north side of Tar River, joining Falling Run.
      Witness: Abram Evans, Robert Coleman, Jr., Thomas Woodard. Registered:
      Feb Court, 1743.

      This James seems to vanish by 1746. Note the dates of the “other” Elizabeth I am concerned with:

      her survey – 1740
      her grant – 1749

      Of course it is possible she was the widow of the mystery James
      but why the nefarious land grant dealings?… why in her name and not his? unusual…

      Also, it would really screw up my niffty theory of the bastard son.



      December 9, 2009 at 11:08 pm

      • I don’t see 1740. I see 1746, possibly 1748, on the survey. Nine years would be too long between survey and record of sale. I have been adding up sales by the two Elizabeth Pitmans and there had to have been two to make the numbers work. In other words I feel at this point that James’ wife was a widow also.



        December 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm

  3. When I did some grant research I found that John Baker APPLIED in 1744, got a survey in 1748 and recorded the grant in 1752. I wonder if there was an application in the Elizabeth Pitman record? The application looked very similiar to the 1749 Indenture you have on the page. I wonder how early Elizabeth was a widow, assuming she was. Guy


    Guy Baker

    December 11, 2009 at 1:50 am

  4. Carolyn,

    Does the following sound correct to you?

    The Elizabeth Pitman who sold land (in current-day Nash Co NC) to Joseph Pitman and Arthur Pitman is sometimes confused by some researchers with Elizabeth Lancaster Pitman, as both lived in Edgecombe Co NC before the formation of Halifax Co NC (in 1758) and Nash Co NC (in 1777). The following set of deeds show that Robert Pitman and Elizabeth Lancaster Pitman lived on Conocannara Swamp, current-day northern Halifax Co NC, very near Northampton Co NC: 1742 NCEDG-DE1, p. 177, from WILLIAM KINCHEN JR, 200 acres to ROBERT PITMAN, on the north side of Buck Swamp in the falling grounds of RAIFORD’S Creek (being part of a patent to PHILLIP RAYFORD dated 18 Feb 1737) dated 16 Nov 1742, W: THOMAS (X) PITMAN, ANN (X) PITMAN, and JOHN PITMAN . . . . . . . . 17 Sep 1739, Edgecombe Co, NC – Philip RAIFORD (II) & Martha RAIFORD to William KINCHEN, Jr., 425a—SS Morratuck—part of a patent to Raiford 10 Aug 1720 . . . . . . . pg. 112 George GOODWYN and MARTHA GOODWYN of Edge. Co. to John Woodleif of Va. 5 Oct. 1756 65 pounds current money of Va. 125 acres on the north side of Conoconary swamp, joining Nathaniel Holly, Robert Warren and the swamp part of a patent to Phillip Rayford in 1720 . . . Wit: Robert Pryer, John Gallerthan, Gideon GOODWYN Reg. Edge. Co. Nov. Ct 1756. J. Montfort C.Ct . . . . Conocannara Swamp

    Mr Pittman’s widow Elizabeth Anderson Pitman had land surveyed in the part of Edgecombe Co NC that became Nash Co NC in 1777. “Land Lying on the No side of Tarriver beg att a Red Oake in (James?) Pittman then Est 22 pole to a Pine . . . 20 pole to Pittmans Corner then along his Line to the first Stat Surveyed for Elizabeth Pittman 2nd May 1748 by me James (Atkinson?) Gregory Stallings & John Stallings CCarryers” (300 acres). If James Pittman was alive on 27 Sep 1746 as one record indicates it would be unlikely that Elizabeth Anderson Pittman would have been his widow as she would have had to apply for her grant 1-4 years before it was surveyed. Elizabeth received her grant on 25 Mar 1749, Benjamin Pitman bought land on 12 Aug 1749 on Buck Swamp near neighboring Rocky Mount and his brother Joseph Pitman (Sr) bought land nearby Benjamin on 10 Feb 1750. Her son William Anderson had a survey for a land grant for 240 acres adjoining her land on 5 May 1753. Elizabeth Anderson had a son, William Anderson, mentioned in his grandmother’s Will (1732), b. bef 5 Nov 1732: “excerpt from will of Elizabeth Anderson 5 Nov 1733, Item I give to my Daughter Elisebeth Pitman, one paire of Small Mill Stones Item I give my Daughter Elisebeth Pitmans Son William Anderson one Hiefer”. She died before 24 Dec 1733 “on the South Side of Meherig River, In Bertie Precinct, In North Carrolina.” Her grandson William Anderson was apparently illegitimate, but possibly was the son of Mr Pitman, born before marriage. This William Anderson received a land grant apparently adjoining Elizabeth Anderson Pitman surveyed on 5 May 1753: William Anderson 2 February 1760, 240 acres in Edgecombe County in St. Mary Parish, joining Andrew Ross, Widow Pittman, Prices corner, the swamp, and Lawrence’s corner OR: /s/ (mark) Wits: Thos Jones, W. Churton surveyed 5 May 1753 SCC: Arthur Anderson, James Anderson James Conner Survr.

    JAMES PITTMAN, m. to Elizabeth bef Feb 1743: Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council. May 04, 1742 – May 07, 1742 CSR Volume 04, Pages 615 – 620 At a Council held at Newberne the 5th day of May 1742 Read Sundry Petitions for Grants of Land Vizt … James Pitman 200 Do (Edgecombe) Granted. Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council November 10, 1743 – November 18, 1743 CSR Volume 04, Pages 639 – 651 Read the following Petitions for Patents Vizt … James Pitman 200 Edgcombe Granted Edgecombe County Land Records: p. 216: James Pitman and Elizabeth Pitman of Edgecombe Co. to JOHN STALLINGS of Edgecombe Co., 21 February ___, 20 pounds current money of Virginia. 200 acres on north side of Tar River, joining Falling Run. Witness: Abram Evans, Robert Coleman, Jr., Thomas Woodard. Registered: Feb Court, 1743 . . . Edgecombe County Court Minutes 1744-1762, At a Court held at Enfield for Edgecombe County the 19th of November 1745 Present Samuel Williams, John Haywood, Thomas Kearney, Esqrs. A Deed of Sale from James Pitman to Wm. Ruffin was acknowledged in open Court & Ordered to be registered. ffess pd. 1769-20 Feb. Benjamin (B) Lane and wife, Mary, of Edgecome Co., planter , to Newit Lane of same, planter, £60 Proc money two tracts of land: (1) 100 acares on the north bank of Tar River a little above Green’s Path, it being part of a patent for 200 acres granted to Thomas Brown on 2 Mar 1744, conveyed by said Brown to JAMES PITMAN, conveyed by said Pitman to Nathaniel Bradford, and conveyed by said Bradford to said Benjamin Lane; (2) 35 acres adjining the aforesaid tract on the ban of Tar River at the mouth of Little Creek, it being part of another survey. Wit: William Chapman, Robert (X) Young, Edward Lane. DB D, p. 69 . . . . James is mentioned as witnessing several deeds in 1746 (from research posted by Carolyn Anderson) . . . . . The north bank of Tar River above Green’s Path is in current-day Nash Co NC and James Pitman was there on and after 2 Mar 1744.

    The following deed indicates James Pitman lived on the north side of Tar River near Falling Run: Edgecombe County Deed Book 5, page 230 May 1744 Witness “ISAAC DICKINSON of Edge. Co. to WILLIAM DICKINSON of Edge. Co. 15 May1744 10 pounds current money of Va. 200 acres on the Nouth side of Tarr River, joing Falling Run, Horn, JAMES PITMAN and the river Wit: STEPHEN GANDY X his mark, WILLIAM PRIGEN X his mark, SAMUEL WILLIAMS Reg. Edge Co. MAy Ct 1744 ROBERT FORESTER C. Ct.”

    The following two deeds show that James Pitman died after 27 Sep 1746:
    Edge. Co. (Halifax) Db 3, page 41, deed date 21 May 1746, recorded Nov Ct 1746, Edward Pore, Edge. Co to John Crowell, county aforesaid for 10 pds VA, a tract of 200 acres beginning at a cypress on the Beaver Dam Swamp on the north side of Tar River then north 75 west 179 poles to a red oak then north 15 east 179 poles to a pine then south 75 east 179 poles to a gum in the main swamp then to the first station, being granted by patent to said Edward Pore 20 Nov 1739, signed Edward Pore (mark), wit James Pitman (mark), Joseph Lane (proved) . . . Edge. Co. (Halifax) Db 3, page 43, deed date 27 Sep 1746, recorded Nov Ct 1746, Thomas Brown, Edge. Co to Edward Southall, county aforesaid for 16 pds VA, a tract of 200 acres on the south side of Tar River beginning at a wt oak standing on river and runs south 40 west 179 poles to a pine a corner then north 50 west 179 poles to the center of two pines and a red oak then north 40 east 179 poles to a wt oak on the river then down the river running the several courses of the water to the first station, signed Thomas Brown (mark), wit (James Pitman) (mark)(proved), David Collins, John Collins.





    December 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm

  5. This shows that the Joseph Pitman who died in 1786-1787 was the Joseph Pitman who bought the land of your Elizabeth Pitman, unless there was another Elizabeth Pitman grant:

    From Kinfolks of Edgecombe County by Alan Watson 1969 Deed book 5 # 91 ABNER PITMAN bought the land of Joseph PITMAN decd. at Sheriff’s sale formerly granted to Elizabeth PITMAN, May 1, 1788 (1 May 1788 apparently the date Abner bought it).

    Do you know of another Elizabeth Pitman grant in Edgecombe Co NC?



    December 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

    • Thats the only Eliz grant I know of… but to address the question with another question- since the Joseph I have postulated is a “newly” identified character in this play, did he have a family with sons and what were their names? If the Joseph who signed the will of Wm Anderson in 1789 is the lifelong friend of Anderson (and his cousin) they may both have lived early on with Eliz Pitman and then struck out on their own? No one to my knowledge has done the research…



      December 17, 2009 at 11:34 am

  6. Correction: it shows that the Joseph Pitman who died in 1786-1787 owned the land, but how did he get? Did he buy it or did his father Joseph buy it?



    December 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm

  7. A researcher sent me the grant file for Elizabeth Pitman, grant date 25 Mar 1749. In it were two different Indentures (both with the exact same information). In that file was a different survey than the one you show (also with the same information).

    If you want that pdf file please contact me and I will send it (and you can see the date on that survey which looks a bit different than the one you have).

    I am sure it says “2th” May 1746.



    April 21, 2010 at 9:49 am

  8. Jas PITTMAN: 200 acres Edgecombe. On No side of tar river and No side of falling run beginning at a White Oak and runs So. 55 Et. 120 po. to a pine standing in the side of a great Pond then So. 11 Wt. 210 Po. to a White Oak then No. 55 Wt. 80 Po. to a Pine on the run then along the Run to the first station. 5th May 1742 (NC Court of Claims 1740-1775, by Weynette Parks Haun)



    July 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  9. Carolyn,

    What is the problem with the 1748 death of James Pitman and his pre-5 Nov 1732 marriage to Elizabeth Anderson? He was probably at least 21 in 1732 (born in or before 1711), they were married at least 15 years and he died at about age 37 (maybe 32-41 years old).

    I fully accept the 5 Nov 1732 Elizabeth Pitman with son William Anderson as the same person as the wife/widow of James Pitman (who I am certain was the brother of Benjamin Pitman and Joseph Pitman). The Wlliam Anderson association is just too strong to dispute.

    I have one brother of James Pitman (William, Jr) born in or before 1703, so James could have been born as early as 1703.

    I hope this helps.




    November 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

    • Guy
      The problem is lack of proof. We each have a different theory. You propose Eliz Anderson wed James Pitman. I propose there was no Eliz Anderson (she was Eliz Pitman, daughter of Thomas Pitman, and had a child by an unknown Anderson male). Your theory is plausible… but wouldn’t it be logical that the child would assume the last name of Pitman?
      We each need more info…

      Marc Anderson
      (no Carolyn associated with this blog)



      November 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

  10. Elizabeth Anderson in her will wrote” “to my daughter Elisebeth Pitman”.

    If Elizabeth Anderson had an illegitmate daughter, her name would have been Elizabeth Anderson also, and any number of illegitmate children cases online show that the illegitimate child took the mother’s name (which is why, as noted, that Wm Anderson took his mother’s maiden name).

    With all the subsequent evidence concerning James Pitman it seems obvious that Elizabeth Anderson (Jr) had an illegitimate child, Wm Anderson, and then married James Pitman.



    November 19, 2010 at 12:48 am

    • Our differing ideas seem to hinge on the James Pitman… I’m still digging, perhaps some new info will turn up. I’ve added a couple posts concerning Robert Pitman and others…




      November 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

  11. I haven’t had a chance to read all of this, but there is some interesting material. Did you know that the Pittman family also traded with the Chickasaw?
    Also, my 3rd adn 4th great-grandfathers — both named Thomas — had financial dealings with the Alstons and Samuel Williams, and my family is related to the Stallings.
    Samuel Williams owned land on Plumtree Island the same time Thomas lived there. And Thomas bought land from John Alston ca. 1755 and it was witnessed by Samuel Williams. The land Thomas bought was surveyed by William Fish, and when William Fish died, his will was witnessed by Samuel Williams and Mary Calvert.


    P.S. I’ve been trying to find out if there is a link between Samuel William and the Jonathan Williams family of Accomack Co. Jonathan Williams was a friend of Christopher’s and married into the Cooper family.
    Jonathan’s family moved to Isle of Wight Co. the same time the Parnell’s, Cooper’s, and Colson’s lived there.


    Richard A. Colbert

    December 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    • Scroll down the “Posts” section and I have a link to a mystery William Pitman who apparently was a “trapper” venturing into Tenn. I’ve seen Alstons, Sam. Williams and my Andersons married Stallings women (Wm, Sr and son George daughters each married)

      One of my theories is that the James Anderson of Occoneechee Neck was a trader who eventually settled in Tarboro …proving it is another matter 🙂

      …the Pitman link



      December 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

  12. Hi, I have been hired by a cousin of the author of this blog to research William Anderson and family. This site, and this page particularly, has been a tremendous help in not reinventing the wheel – thank you!

    After reading through it carefully and comparing with my information, I am completely in agreement with Guy. The accepted cultural and legal practice regarding illegitimate children in this time and place was for the child to assume the mother’s name. Legal action was required by the father for the child to be legitimized and recognized by his surname (and thus as his legal heir.) This was done, but rarely. The most likely scenario here is, IMO, that 1.) Elizabeth (Anderson) Pitman was probably a legitimate child of Elizabeth Anderson, 2.) Elizabeth (Anderson ) Pitman had her child, William, out of wedlock, which is why he carries the Anderson surname, and 3.) she later married a Pitman. This may also mean that some of the later Pitmans living around William Anderson could possibly be his half-siblings.

    I will be looking carefully in the coming weeks at the land grants, patents, deeds, etc. relating to this family.

    Traci Thompson, Local History/Genealogy Librarian


    Traci Thompson

    January 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    • Traci
      You may very well be correct. That is why I have stressed the “theory” aspect.
      You may be interested that my DNA markers have been online for over ten years and
      not a single Pitman match… nothing even close. (which strengthens the illegitimate notion)

      I suspect that the possible husband theorized by Guy (James Pitman) removed to what is now Nash
      County and did not die in Edgecombe in 1746 or so.

      I can’t prove it; can you? That would help settle the question of the “widow” Pitman of Edgecombe.

      BTW I’m glad you stopped by… we’ve crossed paths on the Edgecombe Yahoo group.
      Marc Anderson



      January 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm

  13. Thanks Marc, glad I found this great site! Regarding DNA, have you discovered any close matches? Have you specifically compared your DNA to any local families of interest? How many markers have you had tested?

    Working in this early time and place, there may not be “proof,” but rather degrees of evidence. Of vital importance is to understand Elizabeth Pitman’s status and the laws at the time, and the land records offer us clues. Only single women and widows – or a woman who had legal action taken to declare her a “feme sole” – could buy and sell land in their own name in NC prior to 1868. [See Lee Albright and Helen F.M. Leary, “Strategy for Land Records,” p. 42, in Helen F.M. Leary, editor, North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, 2nd edition (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), chapter 2, “Designing Research Strategies.”] Therefore, whatever Elizabeth obtained a Granville grant in 1749, and whatever Elizabeth is named in the 1746/48 plat (I don’t think it says 1740 either), would fit one of these categories. I would think the chances of James merely relocating is slim – even in cases of separation or abanonment, a woman could not control real property without court action. And while it is possible for Elizabeth to have done so, chances are lower than if she were simply a widow. And of course in 1753 we have the statement “Widow Pitman.”

    I’ll certainly keep you posted on findings as I go along!


    Traci Thompson

    January 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

    • I did the DNA thing around 2000 (basic test)… one recent hit may be an Anderson that I have not followed thru on…
      I don’t put too much stock in it but it is interesting… Of interest is that out of perhaps a dozen close matches, some exact, about half are Brantleys. There were Brantleys in Bertie County in the 1730s which approximates to William Anderson’s birth. Go figure…. the culprit father may be a Brantley if all this DNA stuff proves to be accurate. Don’t tell anyone tho’… you know how rumors are in the genealogy community.

      We all should keep in mind tho’ that the relationship of the Edgecombe William Anderson to the daughter of Elizabeth Anderson of Bertie d.1733 is circumstantial… I’m not comfortable calling this a done deal.

      Good luck to solving the mysteries… I’m rapidly running out of hair to pull out.



      January 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

  14. Very interesting on the Brantleys – some of them wound up in present-day Nash and Wilson Counties, and some of them had a..shall we say…penchant for illegitimate children.

    DNA is most valuable if you test the most relevant markers possible (at this time, this seems to be 67) and if you make specific comparisons. DNA, after all, is all about comparison. Rather than a broad surname-based comparison, the best way IMO is to test specific male lineages. For example, running your DNA against direct male descendants of lines known to be in close proximity to your ancestor would be the most valuable.

    Is William of Edgecombe your direct? I assumed…bad me. Oh, and you are absolutely right, the William of Edgecombe connection to Elizabeth of 1733 is only a theory. So far one that makes sense, though, IMO, unless I see evidence to the contrary.


    Traci Thompson

    January 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    • I have a Page… “my pedigree” it gives a quick rundown on my line … the photo shown was handed down father to son to me…

      I have a son and grandson… this stuff just never seems to end LOL



      January 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

  15. i am-james l pittman-from carteret county pittman -line goes back to-joseph pittman-1652-1683
    of sury va.joseph married -elizabeth-johnson,doughter of-obedience-johnson
    they had two children–mary-and( obedience–which married —the widow–pittman.


    james l pittman

    February 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    • Hi James
      The Elizabeth Pitman mentioned in the 1733 will of Elizabeth Anderson of Bertie County may have been her blood daughter who married a Pitman. Or maybe not. My theory is that she may have been the next door daughter of Thomas Pitman. Or maybe not. I’ve been researching these folks since about 2000 and still haven’t found proof either way. I do have some recent finds on a couple Joseph Pitmans from Edgecombe County in my notes you may find interesting. Comments are always welcome.



      February 11, 2013 at 4:36 am

  16. james l pittman——(jpittman-7)


    james l pittman

    February 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

  17. [13 Jul 1744] & [6 Dec 1745] Edgecombe County. An account of the sales of the Goods of John Ganey Deced. by John Ganey admr of sd. Ganey’s Estate Decr. 6: 1745…
    Thom. Lassiter…
    Eliza. Pitman 1 pewter Tankard & Poringer 0-4-9…
    John Hatcher…
    Samuel Holliman… [Estates 1730-1747 pp140-145 (77-79 of 92)] same as [13 Jul 1744, Inventories 1733-1753 (150 of 362)]

    [Feb 1746 o.s.] Febry Court. 1746. The Division of the Stock of Thomas Lassiter deced made by John Faulk William Dickinson & Benjamin Pittman [Estates 1730-1747 p120 (66 of 92)]

    We don’t think you know what 1728 survey record we were talking about.



    October 24, 2016 at 5:52 am

    • I am familiar with the Byrd II and the NC survey team records… they chronicle passing thru the Carolus Anderson, Pitman, Kinchen properties. If there is another record you reference then I am all ears.



      October 24, 2016 at 7:11 am

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