GENEALOGICAL TIPS (Originally submitted by Jo White Linn of Salisbury, N. C. and printed in the Caldwell County Newsletter; reprinted from May 1985 MCGS newsletter):
1. A man who receives by a will cannot be a witness to it.
2. A nuncupative will can dispose only of personal property.
3. A married woman could not make a will without her husband’s consent and even so could dispose only of personal property unless there had been a prenuptial agreement.
4. Title to land could be conveyed either by inheritance or deed or marriage.
5. There are extant marriage bonds for only about 20% of the marriages that took place in N.C. prior to 1868; many people were married in the church by banns~ many bonds have been lost to natural disasters. The absence of a N.C. Marriage Bond does not mean that the marriage did not take place in N.C.
6. A man did not have to be 21 to buy land, but he did have to, be 21 to sell. He did not have to own property to vote, but he did have to be a free man. He had to be 21 to serve on a jury, but he did not have to own property.
7. A woman was never taxable. If her name appears on a tax list, it is because one has a male of taxable age in her household or a slave of taxable age.
8. Quakers used numerical dating and did not take oaths and were not married in a civil service. A Quaker will does not begin “In the name of God, Amen.” and there are no marriage bonds for Quakers.
9. There are excellent indexed records for Moravians and Quakers; many records of both Lutheran and Reformed Churches and Ministers are being translated and published.
MOORE COUNTY COURT HOUSE BURNED From THE CARTHAGE BLADE, Thursday, September 12, 1889 (reprinted from January 1987 MCGS Newsletter):
The Fire Thought to be of Incendiary Origin, Estimated Loss $15,000
All the records in the Register’s and Supt. Instructions’ and about half of those in the Clerks’s office were wiped out of existence.
At 4 o’clock a.m. last Thursday the usually quiet town of Carthage was thrown into wild excitement by being awakened from its slumbers by the ringing of bells and the loud cries of FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!!
Every household was in a stir in a jiffy, and in a very few seconds men, women and children could be seen rapidly hastening toward the point from which the alarm came. The fire proved to be at the Court House. We were among the first to arrive on the scene, and found the Register’s office a solid sheet of flames from back to front. There being no fire department and the fire already having such headway, everyone seemed appalled and knew not what to do. Finally some thought of the Clerk’s office and passed the word that good work could be done there. A rush was made for that office and the crowd worked manfully and succeeded in saving many valuable records, but they had to work rapidly, as the angry flames soon reached that door. The loss from this office was about 500 judgment rolls, all probate papers, most of the old court minutes and dockets, all guardian books and bonds, all administrator’s bond books, all Supreme Court reports and Acts of the Legislature. All other books and papers are saved.
Every paper and book in the Register’s office, including tax books (which had not yet been quite finished) was lost. everything in the County Superintendent’s office also lost. was little in the Sheriff’s office, there was nothing lost.
the 1889 So was As there
After the fire had spent its fury, we found Mr Mathew Cagle, M “upperend” farmer, who was camping on the public square about 50 or 75 yards distant from the Court House and who gave the alarm, upon inquiry as to the origin of the fire, we elicited the following information from him. He said, “About 2 hours before the fire broke out I noticed a light about as large as that of a candle in the Register of Deed’s office. I thought nothing of the circumstance, and again went to sleep. The next thing I heard, my son called me and said the Court House was on fire. I hurriedly ran up there and into the building and noticed that the fire was issuing from the Register’s office door. I pushed the door, which was slightly ajar, open and saw a large pile of books burning very rapidly as if saturated with oil or spirits of turpentine. I ran to the public well to get water, and believe I could have stopped the fire with a few buckets of water, but found the ropes cut and the buckets in the well. I then gave the alarm. Before the fire broke out I heard someone walking in the Register’s office.” Two or three other men who got there just after Mr Cagle substantiate what he says. Therefore, we have no doubt that the fire was the work of an incendiary. And it was evidently someone who wanted to be rid of some paper that was on record against him. The fact that the well rope was cut in the strongest circumstance of incendiarism. The Court House was almost new, having been put in thorough repair and enlarged about t~ years ago. The building was worth about $15,000, $5,500 of which is yet to be paid. The loss is a heavy blow to the county and no end of litigation will result from it.
The above was copied at the Moore County Library on 6 November 19&6 by James Vann Comer.
On 25 November 1986 there appeared in the Southern Pines Pilot in the Carthage section edited by Woodrow Wilhoit a similar article about the same event–the fire of 1889. Mr Wilhoit had recently read an article written in 1922 by Mr Jacob Fulton Cole in which he recalled the night vividly. He too had been sleeping nearby, in the back room of the little drug store on the circle, and was one of those who helped Mr Cagle save papers out of the Clerks’s office. He too told about the cut ropes of the well that prevented any water being used to quench the fire. He also mentioned the reason Mr Cagle was there on the grounds–the farmer had brought a load of hay to town and needed to stay with it till delivered the next morning.
This news article by Mr Cole can be seen in the issue of the Moore County News of 27 July 1922. Two other men named as helpers were Ralph Tyson and W H Branson. Cole remembered A H McNeill who had been Clerk of Court for many years, saying that as a small boy he helped make brick for the old court house for thirty cents a day.
MOORE COUNTY MASONIC LODGE (originally submitted by James Vann Comer, reprinted from July 1988 MCGS Newletter – names did not fully print):
From The Carthage Blade, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 26 February 1903-7
“Where was Pansophia?, Carbonton, NC, February 23rd-Mr. Editor, About 1798 there was a Masonic Lodge in Moore County named “Pansophia”. The place of meeting was afterwards moved to Malcom McNeill’s. It was a large, influential lodge at that time, made up of Scots principally, judging from the names-McNeill McLeod, Smith, Black, Martin and Tyson. 1 would like to know where “Pansophia” Lodge was first located and where Malcom McNeill lived, where it was moved to; also, if there are any old records of said lodge anywhere in the county among Masons, or other citizens of the county? I would be very glad to find out anything about this old lodge from anyone thro(sic) The Blade and would be very glad if there be found any of the old-records of said lodge. George Wilcox.”
According to A History of Moore County, NC, 1747-1847, by Blackwell P. Robinson on pages 146-151 provide-s-material on the members of Pansophia Lodge Number 25 in 1793. He adds this lodge was chartered in 1793 and surrendered its charter in 1819. The original returns for Pansophia Lodge N~ 25 are housed in the Grand Lodge, AF&AM, of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC. I will include each list of our newsletter- one per newsletter. Returns for 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1807, 1818 and 1819 are available.
“A list of the officers and members of Pansophia Lodge–October 20, 1797
Malcom McNeill, Master; Neil Smith,Senior Warden; John Rea, Jr. Warden; Hector McNeil, Treasurer; Malcolm Black, Secretary; Duncan Paterson, Sr. Deacon; Dougald McFarlane, Jr. Deacon; John McLeod & Duncan Johnston, Stewards
Members: Neil McLeod Thomas Harden Purkins Francis Bullock Duncan Smith Archibald Rea Laughlan McNeil Daniel McIntosh Peter McEachran Alexander Nicholason Dougald McMillan Peter Blew John McCrimman Jacob Gaster Daniel Smith William Mears 16 William Martin 17 John McNeil 18 John Dabney 19 John Matthews 20 James Matthews 21 Thomas Tyson 22 Archibald McNeil 23 Neil Mc Leo d 24 William McSween 25 Normand McLeod 26 John Blew 27 Jacob Hartman 28 Allen Morison
Submitted: William McSween Secretary