Miscellaneous Bits and Pieces from MCGS Newsletters

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



Legal Abstracts from MCGS Archived Newsletters

The current Moore County Genealogical Society has been reviewing some of its archived newsletters. The following legal abstracts were originally compiled by charter member, Eloise W. Knight, Pinehurst, NC.

Moore County Court Minutes November 1823 (reprinted from June 1984 newsletter):

Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay, guardian of Elizah Carmichael. Committee appointed to take examination of Nancy Wicker wife of Anderson for deed of land to John Gunter (95 acres). John Thomas appointed guardian to Penelope, Benjamin V. and Isabella Thomas in place of John Gunter. Nancy Shephard vs. William Oliver and Benjamin Tyson, Jr.  Benjamin Person vs. Heirs of Kindred Birckhead Dr . Kinneth B. McIver appointed guardian to infant heirs of Kindred Birckhead, dec’d to defend those six suits. 1) Benj . Person vs. Heirs of Kindred Birckhead. 2) Same vs. same. 3) Fredrick Siler vs. same. 4) John Siler vs. same. 5) Joseph Johnson vs. same 6) Eleazor Birckhead vs. same.  Archibald Gillis, Jr. to Archibald Gillis, Sr. by oath of Archibald Blue. Tobias Fry to Hugh Moore by oath of Benjamin Person. William Dickerson to Duncan McIver, acknowledged. Daniel McNeill as Sheriff to William Weldon by oath of Druray Bobbitt. Samuel Barby to John Hicks by oath of William Campbell. Bill of sale from William T. England to Antony Graham, acknowledged. Daniel McNeill as Sheriff to Jacob Gaster, acknowledged. Jacob Gaster to Hector McNeill, acknowledged. Bill of sale from George and Florah Campbell to William T. England by oath of Duncan Murchison. George A. Muse to John B. Kelly, acknowledged.  Neill McLeod to John B 0 Kelly, acknowledged. Thomas P. Muse to John B. Kelly, acknowledged. Angus McAulay to John McDonald by oath of Murdoch Martin. John Thomas to PriscillaThomas by oath of John Gunter. Jesse Bean to Susanah Bean, acknowledged. Alexander C. Curry to Hugh Moore by oath of Benjamin Parson. Jesse Bean to Daniel Caddell, acknowledged. James S. Muse and Jesse F. Muse to Isaac Smith by oath of Benjamin Parson. Willam Barrett to Tobias Fry, acknowledged. Miller Sexton, Absolom Sexton, Allin Sexton, Lunsfield Sexton, Clarcey Sexton, Gilford Carpenter, Marthy Carpenter, Matthew Oliver and Elizabeth Oliver to William Weldon by oath of Moses Oliver. Clary Sexton to William Weldon by oath of William Campbell.

Moore County Court Minutes August 1823 (reprinted from November 1984 newsletter):
Ordered that an orphan child named Susan Stone now of the age of seven years be bound to John Deaton who shall give said Susan Stone one year school, and when free, a good suit of “cloath”.  Ordered that Elias Burkhead be exempted from paying a poll tax on account of his being a cripple.  Ordered that Malcolm Buie be appointed guardian to Charles Johnson and Alexander Johnson with Alexander Cameron and William Wadsworth, Securities.  Ordered that Samuel Johnson be appointed guardian to Fanny Johnson with Alexander Cameron and Angus McDonald, Securities.
State of NC, Moore Co.: This day came Archibald McBryde into open Court (it being a Court of records) and maketh that he has long been acquainted with John McLennan and with William McLennan, dec’ d late of the U. S. Army and who is said to have died at Sachetts Harbour and that he believes that said William McLennan was never married and that said John McLennan is a brother and one of the heirs at law of this said brother William McLennan, dec’ d. Sworn and Subscribed in open court this the 21st August 1823.
Ordered that James Muse (little) be exempt from paying a poll tax on account of his infirmities. Ordered that Nehemiah Burkhead be appointed guardian to Belany and John Burkhead. Ordered that Malcolm Blue, Esq. be appointed guardian to Jane., Caleb(?), Maryan, Charles, John, Isabel and Alexander Campbell. Ordered that William Campbell be appointed guardian to Mary, Daniel, John, Malcolm, (or Nancy, Alexander, Florah, Duncan, Catharine and Archibald McFarland. Ordered that Kinneth McCaskill be appointed guardian to Nancy, Roderick and Malcolm D. Mathewson.
DEEDS (reprinted from September 1984 newsletter): Thomas Thompson to Archibald Dalrymple, by oath of Duncan McIver. Malcolm Shaw to Archibald McGilvery, acknowledged. Samuel and Sarah Campbell to Charles Gilchrist, by oath of William T. England. William Crawford to David Reed, by oath of Drurary Bobbitt, Sr. Absolum Sexton to David Reed, by oath of Stephen Beryman. Archibald Campbell to William Spoon, oath of Murdoch McAulay. James Autray to Norman Mathewson, by oath of Murdoch McKenzie. Thomas Ritter to John Rouse, by oath of Miles Rouse. Bradly Garner to John Maness, by oath of Bradly Garner, Sr. Henry Craven and John B. Kelly to Alexander C. Curry, by oath of Hugh Moore.


Moore County Court Minutes dated November 1823 (reprinted from May 1986 newsletter):

Administration of estate of John Campbell. dec’d granted to Elizabeth Campbell.
Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay as administrator of Gracy l?) Carmical.
Administrators of the estate of James Hicks, dec’~ to the use of William Crump vs. Owen Dowd. Committee appointed to settle with the surviving administrator of estate of Adam Finch. dec’d last will and testament of James Ramsey. dec’d duly proved in open court.
Administrations on the estate of James Ramsey granted to Atlas Jones, Esq.
Executors of William Martin. dec’d vs. Thomas M. Reed Others.
Committee appointed to settle with Ann Graham and John McLeod. administrators of the estate of Daniel Graham. Dec’d.


Reprinted from the November 1985 newsletter:

Written in 1794 in Moore Co. N.C. with the usual first paragraph about committing his soul to the Lord from whence it came then- “Principally and first of all to my well-beloved wife Hannah Sheffield the plantation whereupon I now do live with the buildings and orchards and improvements thereon with 100 acres of land during her widowhood with all my stock and cattle. I leave and bequeath to my son Mark Sheffield one shilling sterling.
I leave and bequeath to my son John [nothing written here]
I leave and bequeath to my son Adam 100 ac land lying on Rattle Snake branch. I leave and bequeath to my son Isham the land and plantation whereon he now lives containing 100 acres.  I leave and bequeath to my son Averitt Sheffield land and the plantation whereon I do not live to enjoy after his mother’s decease containing 100 acres. I leave and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Dennis one shilling sterling [same one shilling to daughters Lucretia Dun, Rebecca Autry, Hannah Autry, Elizabeth Autry],and to my youngest daughter Lydia and Milly Sheffield I leave and bequeath one shilling sterling each.
My goods and chattels and stock etc. I leave for the support of my beloved Wife Hannah Sheffield during her life-time I then to dispose of the same as she may think proper. I renounce all wills and legacies made by me formerly and acknowledge this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof.  Signed by John Sheffield (his mark)
E:xecutors: wife Hannah Sheffield and Averi tt  Smith
Could be Isham Sheffield, Windsor Pearce (or Pierce)

Proved by court February 1796


Moore County Court Minutes November 1823 (reprinted from May 1986 newsletter):
Administration of estate of John Campbell. dec’d granted to Elizabeth Campbell.
Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay as administrator of Gracy l?) Carmical.
Administrators of the estate of James Hicks, dec’d to the use of William Crump vs. Owen Dowd. Committee appointed to settle with the surviving administrator of estate of Adam Finch. dec’d last will and testament of James Ramsey. dec’d duly proved in open court.
Administrations on the estate of James Ramsey granted to Atlas Jones, Esq.
Executors of William Martin. dec’d vs. Thomas M. Reed Others.
Committee appointed to settle with Ann Graham and John McLeod. administrators of the estate of Daniel Graham. Dec’d.