Friday, July 21, 2017

Alford Generation #2: James Alford, 1687 VA – 1730 VA

I am currently working on 'Our Brown Roots' which will be a book about my father's family. 
This is a small portion of that book.
Note: This is a work in progress & may be changed as more evidence is collected.




James Alford, oldest son of John Alford is our direct ancestor. He was born circa 1687 in New Kent, Virginia.[i] There are no records to tell us the names of James’ mother or wife but we do know of five sons of James: Lodwick Alford (b circa 1707[ii]), Goodrich Alford (b circa 1710[iii]), James Alford (b 7 February 1713[iv]), Warren Alford (b August 1715[v]) and Julius Alford (b September 1717[vi]).

When John Alford Sr. died, “it appears that James Alford became the Alford leader of the community.”[vii] He is mentioned several times in the records of Saint Peter’s Parish. In 1710 James was compensated by the vestry of Saint Peter’s Parish for “ Keeping a “p’sh Child”.  The notes of the November 1713 vestry meeting mention “James Alford’s bill”. In September 1721 James is shown to be owed compensation for “an Overlist”.[viii] These notations show us that James Alford was residing in and active in Saint Peter’s Parish during those years. James died about 1730 in New Kent, Virginia.[ix]

Three of his sons moved across the border from Virginia to North Carolina.

--- North Carolina ---

            Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano (1524), Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto (1540) and English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1584) were sent to search for gold and other treasures in the area that would become North Carolina.[x] English settlement at Roanoke was attempted, failed and further settlement of the area stalled.[xi]
Heavily loaded ships had difficulty navigating North Carolina’s coast. The area’s rivers drain into the sounds and inlets which fill with shifting sands and can be treacherous.  The Chesapeake Bay in Virginia drew more settlers than North Carolina.[xii]
The Native Americans remained undisturbed for decades. When new pioneers started to move into that region again they came, not from Europe, but from Virginia.[xiii] As available land in Virginia became scarce and the continuous cultivation of tobacco depleted the fertility of the land the exodus south increased.

An almost constant movement of immigrants into the backcountry took the frontier to the foot of the Blue Ridge, and the Indians were driven beyond the Appalachian barrier. Tremendous tracts of forest, never before cut even in the Coastal Plain, were cleared and the land put into cultivation. Mills were built, roads laid out, lighthouses erected along the coast, the channels of rivers and sounds cleared and marked, ferries established, towns incorporated, and trade expanded. People began to build better houses and to have better furniture. Parishes were laid out, churches erected, and schools established. By the beginning of the American Revolution North Carolina was the fourth most populous of the thirteen colonies.[xiv]
           
            In 1730 the population of North Carolina was approximately 30,000 whites and 6,000 blacks. By 1775 there were more than 265,000 whites and 10,00 blacks. There were several reasons for the population explosion. Land companies persuaded many to come, pointing out the mild temperatures and the fertility of the soil. A spirit of adventure lured many young men and women. Missionary zeal inspired others to follow the path to North Carolina.[xv] We don’t know if their reasons were economic, political, religious or personal but we do know our Alford family was a part of that population.

---------

Three sons of James Alford, Lodwick Alford (b c 1707[xvi]), Goodrich Alford (b c 1710[xvii]) and Julius Alford (b September 1717[xviii]), moved from their birthplace in New Kent, Virginia to North Carolina. In October 1735 all three brothers were in Saint Peter’s Parish.[xix] They journeyed south with their families. Initially the Alford brothers can be found in Edgecombe County. Later, Edgecombe was split to form Granville County. Later still Granville County was split to form Bute County which was short lived and abolished in 1779 when it was divided into Warren County and Franklin County. When searching records for our family several counties must be researched.




Are you connected to this family? I'd enjoy hearing from you.



[i] Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage [Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005).
[ii] Alford, Gil, Virginia Alfords: The New Kent County Years (AAFA Action, Summer 1994) 48 – 51.
[iii] Alford, Gil, Virginia Alfords: The New Kent County Years (AAFA Action, Summer 1994) 48 – 51.
[iv] “Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584 – 1917,” Family Search (familysearch.org. accessed 2016), James Alford, 7 Feb 1713.
[v] National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, The Parish Register of Saint Peter's New Kent, County, Virginia 1680-1787 [Parish Record Series, No. 2] (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc.) 10.
[vi] National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, The Parish Register of Saint Peter's New Kent, County, Virginia 1680-1787 [Parish Record Series, No. 2] (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc.) 73.
[vii] Alford, Gil, Virginia Alfords: The New Kent County Years (AAFA Action, Summer 1994) 48 – 51.
[viii] The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia ,The Vestry book of Saint Peter's Parish, 1682-1758; New Kent County, Va., [Parish Record Series, No. 3] (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 2006) 131.
[ix] Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage [Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005).
[x] “North Carolina History Timeline,” (datesandevents.org.)
[xi] Fenn, E. A., The Way We Lived in North Carolina. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003) Page 26.
[xii] Smallwood, A. D., Bertie County: an Eastern Carolina History (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2002)  12 – 15.
[xiii] Fenn, E. A., The Way We Lived in North Carolina. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003) Page 26.
[xiv] Powell, W. S., North Carolina Through Four Centuries. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989) 104.
[xv] Powell, W. S., North Carolina Through Four Centuries. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989) 105.
[xvi] Alford, Gil, Virginia Alfords: The New Kent County Years (AAFA Action, Summer 1994) 48 – 51.
[xvii] Alford, Gil, Virginia Alfords: The New Kent County Years (AAFA Action, Summer 1994) 48 – 51.
[xviii] National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, The Parish Register of Saint Peter's New Kent, County, Virginia 1680-1787 [Parish Record Series, No. 2] (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc.) Page 73.
[xix] The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, The Vestry Book of Saint Peter's Parish, 1682-1758; New Kent County, Va., [Parish Record Series, No. 3] (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 2006) Page 172.



1 James Alford b: c. 1687 New Kent, VA, d: Abt. 1730 New Kent, VA
            2 Lodwick Alford b: c. 1707, d: c. 1800 NC

+Elizabeth b: 29 Apr 1717 New Kent, VA, d: 29 May 1735 New Kent, VA
           +Susanna b: c. 1718, d: c. 1738

+Rebecca Ferrell b: c. 1720
3 Goodrich Alford b: c. 1710, d: 1753 +Sarah
3 James Alford b: 07 Feb 1713 New Kent, VA
                       3 Warren Alford b: 1715 New Kent, VA

3 Julius Alford b: Sep 1717 New Kent, VA, d: Nov 1771 NC

+Lucy Newton b: 1720, d: 1790

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2 comments:

  1. I saw Lodwick and James mentioned in a land deed with David Horton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you remember any details or where you saw that record?

      Delete

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