Thursday, May 29, 2014

NGS Conference Exhibit Hall Purchase: Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina: Deed Books

The Exhibit Hall at the NGS Conference looked to me like a child’s candy store. I especially could not resist the books & bought several that I am now enjoying looking at very closely. I purchased this hardcover book from Southern Historical Press:

Bell, M. B. (1963). Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina: Deed Books A - H, 1720 – 1757 (2nd Edition). 
Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc.

Table of Contents:

Map of Bertie Precinct 1722 – 1730
Deed Book A, 1720 – 1725
Deed Book B, 1725 – 1727
Deed Book C, 1728 – 1730
Deed Book D, 1730 – 1734
Deed Book E, 1735 – 1739
Deed Book F, 1739 – 1744
Deed Book G, 1744 – 1753
Deed Book H, 1753 – 1757

I found my Lawrence & Ashley families in the deeds included in this helpful volume.


I am confident that these are ‘my’ Lawrence family. However, further research is needed to decide who is who.

1. Thomas Whitmell, Sheriff of the County, March 21, 1746. Directed by the General Court to sell land belonging to Lawrence Larson. The land was bordered, on one side, by the land of Robert Laurence. page 191. [I’m not sure which Robert Lawrence this is. My 6x great grandfather d in 1744 but it may refer to land he once owned. His son, Robert, was only 11 at the time of this record.]

2. James McDowall sold land to Joseph Hardy. 10 Nov 1747. A witness was Robert Laurence. page 192.

3. Wm Laurence was a witness to a land sale. 27 July 1757. page 255.[most likely son of Robert Lawrence. Needs further research.]


I have two Thomas Ashleys, my 7th & 8th great grandfathers. I need to look closely to decide which man each of these references. Naturally, they both married women named Ann. Fortunately, the Sen & Jun & the Elder notations in some records help immensely.]

1. Thomas Ashley, blacksmith, & wife Ann to Edward Howkett (Hocutt), Se. Aug, 30, 1739. 60 pds. For 340 A. on Rawquiss Swamp. Tract granted to James Castlellaw by patent. Adj. Phillip Walston, Jonathan Stanly, Coll. Cullen Pollock. Wit: Michael Slaughter, David Ambros. NC Court Aug. 3, 1739 W. Smith, CJ. Deed Book F, 12.

2. Thomas Ashley witness to 2 deeds. 6 May 1734. Deed Book D, 92 & 93.

3. Thomas Ashley witness to Deed. 14 Oct 1735. Deed Book D, 299.

4. Thomas Ryan & wife Martha to Jacob Parrot. 1 May 1735. Land adjoining Thomas Ashley, Jun. Deed Book E, 14. Bell, M. B. (1963). Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina: Deed Books A - H, 1720 - 1757(2nd Edition ed.). Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., page 116.

5. Thomas Lovick of Carteret County to Thomas Ashley. Aug. 2, 1740. 40 pds. For 150 A. “…Thomas Lovick appointed Executor in Last Will and Testament of Laurence Larson Late of the County of Bertie… sell(s) unto Thomas Ashley…” Land on Blackwalnut Swamp adj. Hardy, Land granted Thomas Pollock and assigned to Laurence Larson by deed April 5, 1720. Wit: Robert Lovivk, James Carlee. Aug. Court 1740. Deed Book F, 139.

6. Thomas Ashley, Sen. To Thomas Ashley, Jun. Aug. 10, 1742. 100 pds. For 120 a. On Cashoke Creek adj Henry Van Luven. Wit: John Hill, William Ashley. Aug. Court 1742. Deed Book F, 317.

7. Thomas Ashley the Elder to Samuel Cook. May 13, 1747. 4 pds. For 50 A. At Blackwalnut Swamp adj. Thomas Ryan. Wit: H. Hunter, Richard Ashley. May Court 1747. Deed Book G, 31

8. Thomas Ashley, Sen., blacksmith, to Richard Lakey, carpenter. May 15, 1753. 100 A. On NS Blackwalnut Swamp. Adj. land of Thomas Ryan, Samuel Cook “which s’d Tract of Parcell with 50 acres which I sold to the s’d Samuel Cook in all one hundred and fifty acres was conveyed to me from John Lovick Executor of the Last Will and Testament of Laurence Larson Deceased as by deed bearing date (Aug. 2, 1740)…” Wit: Aaron Boulton, Ryan. May Court 1754. Deed Book H 99.

Maybe this book would help your research. Let me know if I can do a quick look up for you.

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  1. The book is turning out to be quite a "treasure'.

    1. Charlie, I get excited when I find even the briefest reference to an ancestor. This one is a winner.

  2. Cool! Now I wish I had taken more time in the bookstores. Most were so overwhelming that I didn't know where to begin.

    1. Wendy, the books were great but it took some time to sort through them all; find the appropriate ones & then search the index. I wanted to search even more but then I would have missed sessions. A tough choice!


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