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Petitions for the Formation of Buncombe County


[The following two petitions were submitted to the North Carolina General Assembly meeting in November 1790.  The resulting bill to form Buncombe County was not passed in that session.  The bill was re-submitted  the following year and was passed.  Some of the signatures are faded and quite difficult to interpret.}


State of North Carolina 25th Sept. 1790
Burke County


The Honourable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina now Sitting at Fayette Ville.     he Petition of the Inhabitants of that part of Burke County lying west of the Appalachian Mountain Most Humbly Sheweth
    That the local Situation of your Petitioners renders it exceedingly difficult and (in the winter season of the year) almost impossible to attend at the Court House of said County as Jurors, witnesses, &c., a number of the inhabitants on the west side of said mountain living seventy or eighty miles distance from said Court House and several very bad mountains to cross.
    And by annexing or adding that part of Rutherford County lying west of the Apalachian Mountain to that part of Burke County west of the Mountain, your Petitioners conceive that there would be a sufficient number of inhabitants to form a respectable County — Therefore Hope your Honours will take their case under your most prudent consideration and in your Wisdom grant them a Separate County if you should consider expedient, as your Petitioners Humbly conceive it would conduce to the ease & Convenience of Inhabitants, and your Petitioners will every pray.

Nathan Deaver Joshua Bartlett
Matthew Patton Samuel Rentfro
James Cunningham Mark Rentfro
Jno. Gibart Henry Heatly
Jas. Davidson James Heatly



(Second sheet of names follows)


[torn] Brittain Tho Bounds Nathan Smith
James Love Joshaway Chanler Henry Robbers
Wm. Gudger John Roberts Baxaller Barnet
John Chambers Adam Biffle James Givin
Gabriel Elkins James Same Baxter Davis
Benja. Gregory James Stanphil Jacob Beyler
Wm. Bailey John Street Peter Deveas
John Gregory John Gillahan John Dillard
James Cravans William Dever Wm. Grigory
John Weve Jacob Caler Samuel Randolph
Wm. Tinker Wm. Gillahan Richard Dever
Tho Dillard Jacob Beefell Nathaniel Armstrong

(Third sheet of names as follows in first two columns and fourth sheet of names as follows in the third column.)


Adam Dunsmoor William Jones Richard Dever
James Dunsmoor William Young John Bounds
William Dunsmoor John Patton Henry Roberts
David Dunsmoor Janes Gouge Aston Chote
Aaron Patton Joseph Rise Edward James
William Graham Zemeh Gudger Gilberd Barnet
Alexd. Graham James Battle William Reader
John Graham John Whitson John Sames
Benjamin McWhorter Thomas Whitson Wm. Whitson
John Wiles John Davidson D. Vance
Robert Patton Ephraim Davidson Philip Hoodenpyl
Wm. Long Arch:d Neill Jno. Baker
-no Lekey John Neill Jno. Langford
— Ba—an Gabriel Ragsdale David Hinton
Humphry Cuningham Richard Highwer Wm. Henton
John Alexander John Philips Hickman Hensley
Wm. Alexander Daniel Smith John Hensley
Thomas P. Alexander Jacob Caseegh Obediah Hammon
James Alexander John Philips Charles Calleway
Jno. Davidson Juner Wm. Ingram William Morris
Nathan Bartlet John Beefel Thomas Ray
Jno. Bartlet Goldman Ingroman John Hughes
William Davidson Jacob Beyler senior Hickman Hensly
John Davidson Abraham Beyler John Edwards
George Davidson David Beyler
Hugh Davidson John Gillem
David Hill Robt. Logan
Thomas Davidson Joseph Smith
John Patton Samuel Smith
William Alexander Nathaniel Smith
Benjamin Gudger
Joseph Forsythe
George Cunningham
Aaron Graham


State of North Carolina Rutherford County The Honourable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina now sitting at Fayetteville.
    The Petition of The Inhabitants of that part of Rutherford County lying west of the Apalachian mountains most humbly Sheweth     That whereas your Petitioners from their local situation living at a great distance from the Court House of said County the most western part of our Settlements being sixty or eighty miles distance and the mountains (especially in the winter season)  being almost impassible, renders it exceeding difficult and inconvenient for your Petitioners to attend Court as Jurors Witnesses &c.     Your Petitioners considering themselves intitled to the same ease Convenience and privileges of your other Citizens Hope that your Honours will take their distressed case under your prudent Consideration and in your Wisdom grant us a new County by adding that part of Rutherford & Burke Counties lying West of said Apalachain mountain into a separate County, which will conduce much to the ease of the Inhabitants and your Petitioners will ever pray.

Wm. Davidson James Chambers
Adam Cooper John Claypool
Benjamin Yardley Jonathan Horn
Wm. Boylston William Forster
Samuel Davidson Thomas Forster
William Wynne Jesse Henson



(Second sheet of names follows)

Edward Jonson John Murrey
John Banks Sener Thoas Abbel
John Banks Wm. Chambers
Wesley Banks Joseph Gash
Harmon Reed Samuel Wallace
Elegey Lee Moseas Jones Davidson
John Gibson Bengeman Haukins
Richar Hill Richard Hightower
John Cesea John Hightower
James Metcalfe Oldem Hightower
Thomas Addaton Auston Hightower
Nicholas  Woodfin Randal Fugot
William Fletcher Joseph Sorrels
Richard Yardley William Stringfield
Samuel Yardley Sandaford Cozzia
Mathias Telar James Wood Sener
John Wood James Wood Juner
John Stringfield Joseph Wood
George Ramsey Isac Nany
Jacob Capehart James Inglash
James Stringfield Andrew Miller
Tho. Arnold Andrew Lyda
John Box Benjamin Odel Senr
John Hinson Ben Odel Junr.
James Stringfield Senr. John Odel
William Inglash John Lam
Jaash Inglash Spencer Graham
James Bridget John (?) Thomas
John Ashworth




The 1790 Census  of Burke and Rutherford Counties


Enumeration in the 1790 Census was done by Militia Companies.  In Burke and Rutherford Counties, four of these companies fell in the area which became Buncombe County in 1792.  These were the Eleventh and Twelfth Companies in Burke County and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Companies in Rutherford County.  Persons living in the area covered by these Companies in 1790 are considered qualifying ancestors for the First Families of Old Buncombe. 



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