Category: Research Aids

Madison County’s Early Years

MADISON COUNTY’S EARLY YEARS Behind the barrier of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains lay the highlands of Madison County before 1776, uncharted and virtually unknown to anyone but the Cherokee Indians. It was the thrust of the new country In the 1780s, with land grants for Revolutionary War heroes and treaties with the Indians …

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North Carolina

  North Carolina was first explored in early 1524 by Giovanni de Verrazano, with his ship Daphine. He was an Italian working for France. He was looking for a shortcut to Asia just like some other explorers like John Cabot, an English explorer. The first place Verrazano stepped on was Cape Fear in North Carolina, …

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Early Travel

In 1860 travel in all this region (of Western North Carolina) was rarely undertaken except on urgent and necessary missions. Even fifty years later, conditions had improved but little. The chief reason was, of course, the lack of roads and the slow pace of getting about. A farmer going to market was all day on …

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Roads and Trailways to Western North Carolina

ROADS AND TRAILWAYS TO WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA THE WILDERNESS ROAD The road through the Cumberland Gap was not officially named “the Wilderness Road” until 1796 when it was widened enough to allow Conestoga Wagons to travel on it. However, by the time Kentucky had become a state (1792), estimates are that 70,000 settlers had poured …

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German Settlers

THE GERMAN SETTLERS WELDING LINKS: GERMANIC TIES by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG More than one-half of Americans claim to have German ancestors, which accounts for the great interest in this ethnic group. Additionally, many more of us probably have German ancestry but are not aware of it because so many of the German surnames were …

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What IS Documentation and What IS NOT Documentation?

For genealogical purposes, documentation is the supplying of documents or supporting records or references. While it may seem like a daunting task, it is vital that the researcher find a primary document for each and every fact he/she uncovers while researching. What is a “primary document” or “primary source”? It is described as a document …

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How the Counties Got Their Names

  ALAMANCE Formed in 1849. Name taken from an Indian word, Anamonsi, meaning unknown. ALEXANDER Formed in 1847. Named for William Julius Alexander, of Mecklenburg County, prominent civic leader of his time. ALLEGHANY Formed in 1859. Name taken from an Indian word, AIlegiwi meaning “a fine stream.” ANSON Formed in 1748. Named for Lord George …

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