Author Topic: What would be likely routes to north western NC in mid to early 1700"s  (Read 9097 times)

Steve Thompson

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My ancestor John Thompson Sr.was in north western north Carolina(what is now Allegheny County)
what would be likely routes a family would have taken to get to this location back in the early to mid 1700's.

This is as far back as I can trace them.

Mary

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There is a book out that might help and you can get it used from Amazon............ From Ulster to Carolina: The Migration of the Scotch-Irish to Southwestern North Carolina (Paperback)
by Tyler Blethen

While your county isn't in here, I think it would still give you some really good insight. Here's Amazon's description:
Recounts the long trek of the Scotch-Irish from their adoptive Irish homeland to the mountains of southwestern North Carolina. Focuses on the Scotch-Irish who settled in the present-day North Carolina counties of Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey. Graphically describes the religion, occupations, living conditions, social life, and customs of these migrants.

Our ancestors skipped right to PA, so I am historically challenged on NC!

Mary


Booner

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Steve,

First off, i don't think I've welcomed you to the clan.

WELCOME STEVE!

The immagration pattern for the Scot-Irish in the 1700's is interesting.  There were anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 Immigrating to the U.S. (still a British coloney) between the years of 1717 & 1775.  Immagration began before that time, and of couse afterwords, but the the heaviest flow of immagrants occured during the 57 years.

In the early period, The immagration was mainly due to the increasing of land rents in Ireland. Many of the immagrants would be farmers and had to sell themselves as indentured servants in order to pay for their voyage. Towards the end of the period, reasons for immagration were due to unfair taxation of woolen goods and giving the catholic Irish more political power. Therefore most of the immigrants during the later period made up a more skilled labor force.

Most of the immagrants made their way into the county through Pennsyvania.  This is not to say some came in through NEw England or the south. However, The various New England colonies were based on religion and were not as welcoming to outsiders, and was more heavily settled around the ports of entry.  In the south, large plantations were in the coastal areas and the economy was based on large scale agriculture, so land would be too expensive.  Also, If an immagrant was an indentured servant, he was at an disadvantage to a slave.  Terms of Indenturement were usually about 7 years, then your former "master" owed you the vary basics to allow you to begin your new life as a farmer. A slave was a life-long investment, you took care of them. An indentured servant was short term--you worked them hard and then got new ones.

So most came through Pennsyvania.  Willaim Penn founded the colony based on religious freedom and tolerance. In the early period of the colony, land was purchased from the indians and enjoyed relativly good relations with them. The agricultural practises were based on small-plot farming. Indentured servents were eagery taken in by the Quakers and in general, treated well. 

In the early 1700's Philidephia was, at least, the 2nd largest city in the colonies, ( if not the 1st).  Around Philidelphia, there was large numbers of German settlements, (the Palentine Germans) and various settlements of Quakers, Mennonites, Swedes (by the Delaware river Valley). The Scot-Irish who immagrated into Pennsyvania normally only stayed there for a few years, nomally due to the fact that all the good farm-land was already taken.

So they began to move westward into South-Central Pennsyvania first, then down through the Shennadoah Valley in western Virginia.  After the defeat of the Cherokee's in 1761 a great flood of Scot-Irish moved along this route into the back parts of the Carolina's, so may in fact that the trail was called "The Great Philidelphia Wagon Road," and lead from Philadelphia to the Yadkin & Catawba  River Valleys in the Carolinas; a distance of 435 miles.     

It would normally take 2-3 years for a family to make this trip.  ALong the wa the would stop and plant a few crops to help sustain their family and to help pay for the trip.

A good book to read about the history of the Scot-Irish from the their begining in the Ulster plantation to after the American Revolution is: THE SCOTCH-IRISH; A SOCIAL HISTORY by James G. Leyburn.  What I've outlined to you here is from what i've learned from his book, & my appologies to him for any mistakes, but in very general terms, I think I've given a decent outline of the pattern of immagration.  If I were you, and trying to figure out where your N. Carolina relative came from, my first efforts would be in trying to find a connection to Pennsylvania.

Unfortunatly, there are few hard & fast rules in trying to discover your families history. Patience is one rule, and read as much history of the area they lived in is another.  And get your info to our most esteemed Cathy McTavish.  Shes very good at digging stuff out and cam be of great help.

Again,  welcome to our group,,,, and post alot to the forum, ok?

Best regards,

Booner

Barbara

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Great post Booner!

Barbara
"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

Booner

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Thank you Barb.

For a real interesting read that explains the immagration pattern I've listed above, read "BOONE" a Biography, by Robert Morgan.

The story is about Daniel Boone and his family. A very interesting read not only about the Boone family, but the early history of Kentucky.

Daniel claimed thousands of acres as his in Kentucky, but he was a horrible businessman and never followed through with his claims by properly recording them.  So he would sell some land, the buyer would record the purchase only to find out that the land was claimed by someone else. So Daniel would get sued.  He tried to make things right but his debts mounted, so he and his family moved to Missouri where he was given 10,000 acres by the Spanish govenor (Missouri was then owned by Spain). Again, he didn't record this and when the U.S. made the Lousiana purchase, he lost his clain to this land too.  The U.S. eventully did allow his to keep some land, which he legally sold, and paid off all his debts back in Kentucky. And he died broke.

In his early life, Daniel made his living through, what we call today as a market hunter, killing 100's of deer and selling the hides.  After being gone on a two-year hunt he returned home only to find that there was a new child in the family, obviously not his.  He asked Rebecca (his wife) who the father was and she said his brother Edward (Edward married the sister of Rebecca).  Being a very understanding man, Daniel said something to the effect that "at least you kept it in the family" and accepted the child as his.  This daughter ( Jemima) was the most dedicated child of Daniel, taking care of his in his later life.

Regards,

Booner   

Cathy McTavish

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Daniel Boone is one of my personal childhood heros.  I visited his grave in Frankfort, Kentucky a couple of years ago, and it is a disgrace.  It has fallen into ruin.  He was buried in Missouri and later he and Rebecca were moved to Kentucky.  I did not know that Jemina was not his daugther....................

And the Daniel Boone show is on the Christian network, and at times I still will tune into it!

Cathy

Cathy McTavish

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The route probably was straight through to North Carolina.  There is a book I would recommend to everyone.  It is "A Dance Called America", by James Hunter.  It explains a lot of the migration patterns of the early Scottish settlers, ESPECIALLY to the Carolinas.  I donated a copy of the book to our organization a year ago, but it is much too expensive to try and ship it around.  There are 3 copies of this listed on ebay right now ranging in price from $6.74 to 14.24. 

One of the wonderful things I have been learning from genealogy and your family histories, is the migration patterns and a history of the area.  Stirling's family came from the Islands of Maine......................I have to admit, I never considered studing any of Maines history, but I am doing so right now.  So I thank each of you that have given your family trees to me, as I learn something from each and every one of them!

Cathy

Steve Thompson

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Thanks for the recommended books. I have just purchased "A Dance Called America", by James Hunter. and From Ulster to Carolina:


any other recommended books on the subject?

Mary

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Yes!  This book is available on google.com in their books section and the ENTIRE book is available to read online.  This may give you some really good insight - I scanned some of the pages.

Also, if you aren't familiar with google books, just go to google.com and where it says MORE and has a down arrow, click the down arrow and pick books. Once that loads, type in the title of this book and it will bring it up. When it comes up, you can search it by putting in your search criteria on the right side of the page. I think the Carolinas started about page 143.....

The Scotch-Irish in America
             by Scotch-Irish Society of America

There may be others..........do a search using terms "North carolina" and "scots in America" etc.

Mary

Forum_mgr

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Forum_mgr

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Here's another:  http://www.theargyllcolonyplus.org/

http://www.theargyllcolonyplus.org/#ncshs

The North Carolina Scottish Heritage Society was established in 1992 as a non-profit incorporated organization to promote the study, research and publication of materials concerning the ancestry and heritage of the Highland Scots who emigrated to North and South Carolina during the colonial period and immediately afterwards, their lives and migrations within the United States, and their descendants.

Thomas B. Thompson

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Hi Steve,
 I believe that I have traced back to my 4th great-grandfather to Bumcumbe County
N.C. According to the info I have, which is little, he was born around 1760-1770.
Place of birth unknown ( for now ). He died in 1814 in Bumcumbe County, N.C.
His wife was named Nancy Pack.
The following are the generations after him.
John harvey Thompson
James Calvin Thompson   have a picture of him )
Johnny Thompson
McKinley Thompson
McKinley Thompson Jr.
Thomas B Thompson ( Me )
I was wondering if you had across any of those names in you research about
emigration into the Carolinas.


Steve Thompson

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Re: What would be likely routes to north western NC in mid to early 1700"s
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008, 06:20:41 PM »
Sorry Thomas I have not. Most of my search and finds have taken place in north Western NC between now and mid 1700"s. I think it highly likely my line came down via the old wagon trail road. I will keep an eye out for your names though.