Documents of Original Title: Land Records Leading to Origins of Tennessee Ancestors

No. 31  Robert Williams fifteen acres of land in Carteret County being part of Black Creek Mill Pond and Dam including his saw mill on the east side joining his own and Solomon Shepard’s line. June 16th 1778

This land entry identifies the settler, his property, the location, and at least one neighbor.  The property is described sufficiently to distinguish the property uniquely from all other property.  The entry bears the date to insure that later claims to the same land will not be valid.

  1. The document proves that Robert Williams was alive 16 June 1778.
  2. Robert Williams has lived in this area long enough that he has a saw mill, a pond, he owns other property that adjoins this 15 acres–this is not his first entry or purchase.
  3. Robert Williams is not a new arrival in Carteret County. He has been here awhile.
  4. He has at least one neighbor–Solomon Shepard.  A household from which he could select a bride for himself or for a son; or select a husband for a daughter.
  5. A first land entry could be the occasion of a marriage, coming of age on the frontier–when a young man acquired the means to support a wife–completing a period of indentured service and preparing for full citizenship which was dependent upon owning land.
  6. Men who married late in life usually had taken up their first land before their 25th birthday.

Such assumptions, based on land records, allow you to calculate age, status in life, citizenship, kinship networks, and other factors you can test through additional research.  Your favorite Tennessee genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  One of the principal sources for Tennessee settlers were the eastern counties of North and South Carolina.  You can anticipate migration patterns with land records.

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