Of course, it wasn’t called Anson County when they arrived. It was the western edge of the frontier of Bladen County. Bladen had been formed out of New Hanover in 1734, up until about that time the population of the North Carolina colony had pretty much been contained to the Coastal Plains. But migration from the northern colonies, Virginia and South Carolina had begun to cross the borders. Remember, back in South Carolina there had been a plan put into motion to populate the up country by creating a new headright system and economic incentives to encourage the settlement of new townships, not only as a buffer to the native Indians, but also as a means of strengthen the colony's southern boundary. Between 1730 and 1740, the population of Charleston had doubled and property value rose 500%. I guess one of the mysteries we may never solve is why did Burlingham Rudd migrate to Anson County instead of the up country of South Carolina. In my own mind, I can imagine that Burlingham wanted to take his family and start a new life by leaving the past one behind.
First came the people, and then came the county. When Anson County was formed, the concentration of the population was located along the banks of the Pee Dee River and its tributaries. Comparing the list of settlers with early land grants to the map of the streams and creeks, it appears that they stretch up the Pee Dee, on both sides of the river. These early pioneers were referred to as the Pee Dee settlers. From Documenting the American South we find the petition for a new county in the “Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council, September 29, 1748 - September 30, 1748, Volume 04, Pages 887-889
At a Council held at New Bern 29th September 1748In other words, on September 29, 1748, two petitions were presented to the Governor’s Council at New Bern by the same three men. One petition was a plea by residents of the Pee Dee area for the formation of a new county to be divided from Bladen. They presented three reasons. First, the distance from their land to the nearest court, which was in Bladen County, denied them the benefit of the courts as subjects of the colony. Second, there were some bad people who did bad things and there was no court to hold these bad people accountable. Third, if the Governor and Council would establish a new county and establish a court, then more people would come to the area and the population would no doubt increase. The second petition presented that day also had signatures which opposed the formation of a new county based on the “Paucity” (few people) and “Poverty” (poor people) of the inhabitants.
Present His Excellency the Governor
The Honoble Nath Rice Esqr Member of Council
The Honoble Roger Moore Esqr Member of Council
The Honoble Robert Halton Esqr Member of Council and
The Honoble Edwd Moseley Esqr Member of Council
The Honoble Will Forbes Esqr Member of Council
Captain Samuel Davis, Charles Robinson, and Thomas Smith exhibited a petition in behalf of themselves and Sundry others Inhabitants of Pedee, which was read being to the following Effect Vizt
That by the great distance of that Settlement from the County Court of Bladen, and the badness of the ways they were in a manner excluded from all Benefits of the said Court, to which, by reason of the bad behaviour of many amongst them, they have frequent Occasions of recourse Wherefore they pray for a Division, and to be made a separate County, when (tho' now but few) they doubt not to encrease to a competent Number.
Then was also read a Petition with several names to it, in one and the same hand writing, as of Inhabitants of Pee dee, opposing the aforesaid Petition, in regard of the Paucity and Poverty of the Inhabitants.
Whereupon his Excellency was pleased to interrogate the presenters of the first petition (no person appearing to the other) upon the subject of their petition: And it appearing to the satisfaction of his Excellency and the Council, that the Number of white Tithables upon Pee dee river and near the same, is between two and three Hundred; and that the Court House of Bladen County (in which County they have been hitherto Included) is above one hundred miles distant from the nearest Inhabitants of Peedee; and that at some seasons of the year, the roads between are very bad, if not impracticable. For the ease of the said Inhabitants, and to promote the Settlement of the said River his Excellency thought proper, by and with the Advice and consent of His Majestys Council, to grant the petition for a Division of the County of Bladen, and making Pee dee and parts above it a Separate County as aforesaid and accordingly it was Ordered, that that part of Bladen County which is known by the name of Peedee, together with all parts adjacent, extending as hereafter set forth, shall be erected into a County, distinct from and independant of Bladen County by the name of Anson County. And by virtue of the Power and authority of his Excellency the Governour in Council, agreeable to ancient usage, the said place or Tract of Land commonly called Peedee, and parts adjacent, were erected into, made, constituted and declared (within the Bounds and Limits hereafter described) to be, and henceforth are to be deemed held and taken for a separate County, by itself, with Distinct Jurisdiction, enjoying all such Priviledges and powers as any other County within this province have and enjoy (that is to say) the said County shall be and stands divided from Bladen County by little Peedee river, to the head of the main Branch thereof, and then by a Line to be run, as near as may be equal Distance from Haw River, and Great Peedee river, And untill another County shall be Erected to the Westward or Northward of this new County, all the Inhabitants to the Westward of the aforementioned Dividing Line, shall belong and appertain to Anson County.
Then His Excellency was pleased to lay before the Board his proper power or Commission as consequent to the foregoing Effect which was read being as follows, vizt Know all men by these Presents that I Gabriel Johnston Esqr Captain General, Governour and Commander in Chief in and over his Majestys Province of North Carolina, Upon the humble Petition of his Majestys Subjects the Inhabitants of Peedee by virtue of the Power and Authority vested in me by his Majesty's Commission and agreeable to Ancient Usage for good and sufficient Reasons me thereunto moving by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council to make, create, constitute and ordain the said Peedee in the province of North Carolina and certain Tracts of Land contiguous to the same late in the County of Bladen, a County by the name of Anson County, and the same is hereby Declared (within the Bounds and Limits hereafter ascribed) a County by itself Separate from and independent of Bladen having distinct Jurisdiction with all such Power and Priviledges as any other Countys within this Province have and enjoy: Which County of Anson shall be and is hereby Circumscribed and bounded as followeth that is to say the same is and stands Divided and Distinguished from Bladen County by little Peedee River to the Head of the main Branch thereof and then by a Line to be run equal distance from Haw River and Great Peedee River and untill another County be Erected to the Westward or Northward of this new County all the Inhabitants to the Westward of the aforementioned Dividing Line, shall belong and appertain to Anson County In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Province to be Affixed at New Bern day of … Anno Dom 1748. GAB JOHNSTON
The three men who presented the petitions testified for the first petition but they did not testify for the second petition. Their testimony reveals that there are between two and three hundred white tithables living in the area. A tithable refers to a head tax, in this case, white males. According to The Laws of North Carolina, 1749, Chapter III, Item II:
II. Be it Enacted, by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, and General Assembly of this Province, and by the Authority of the same, That all and every White Person, Male, of the Age of Sixteen Years, and upwards, all Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees Male or Female, and all Persons of Mixt Blood, to the Fourth Generation, of the Age of Twelve Years, and upwards, and all white Persons intermarrying with any Negro, mulatto, or Mustee, or other Person of mixt Blood, while to intermarry with no other Person or Persons whatsoever, shall be deemed Taxables: Any Law, Usage, or Custom, to the contrary, notwithstanding.Every person except white female was subject to the head tax and all white males above the age of sixteen were taxed, so there were two to three hundred white males over the age of sixteen in the Pee Dee settlements. I thought that was such an interesting piece of legislation for the times, so I found this explanation according to NCpedia, Bladen County in the 1700’s, by Jason Bordeaux
The General Assembly passed a statute in 1723 requiring that wives and other females in households of free persons of color should be taxable. The policy originated as a result of so many mixed blood people who were moving into the colony and intermarrying with whites. Inter-racial marriages were forbidden by an earlier statute passed in 1715. There is an abundance of evidence available in the records to show that settlers and slaves formed unions and had children. These children and subsequent generations became free persons of color.The testimony before the Governor’s Council goes on to say the travel distance was more than one hundred miles from the nearest Pee Dee settler to the courthouse in Bladen County, which was in the area of present day Elizabethtown, and there were times of the year when the roads are not conducive to travel.
The Governor agreed, the Council determined the boundaries for the new county and named it Anson. The following day, the same three men appeared again before the Governor’s Council. This time they were asked to recommend two men to be added to the existing Justices who would constitute a Bench of Justices for Anson County, as well as, a location for the courthouse, and a recommendation for a new Sheriff. The days the court would be in session were also determined.
Charles Robeson, Thomas Smith and Captain Samuel Davis appeared again before this Board and being asked by his Excellency with regard to the most proper persons for Justices as well as convenient and most fitting place to fix a Court house in the new County … added to the former Justices to constitute with them a Bench of Justices are John Hicks and John Holmes and the Ford of Rockey River where the road crosses is the most suitable place whereon to fix the Court House ... constituting and appointing the said Joseph White, Charles Robinson, Edmund Cartledge, William Philips, Samuel Davis, Thomas Smith, John Hicks and John Holmes Justices of the peace for the County of Anson and that the Court Days be on the fourth Tuesdays in the Months of March, June, September and December yearly … constituting and appointing the said John Hamer Sheriff of Anson County.
In 1976 Mary Louise Medley, a journalist, historian and native Ansonian, was commissioned by the Anson County Historical Society to write a history of the county for the Nation’s Bicentennial. Her work “History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750-1976” is the only comprehensive history of Anson County. It’s a wonderfully written history and we are so fortunate to have it. I’ll be quoting from her frequently during this series of narratives. On pages 4 through 6, Ms. Medley paints for us the picture of the wilderness and the Indians who occupied the area where Burlingham and Elizabeth Rudd made their home.
Settlers tricking into Anson from 1740-1750 and taking up land along the rivers and creeks found a wilderness with much of nature’s bounty mixed with danger and the hardship of unknown frontiers. Vast forest of pine, oak, gum and numerous other trees still known today, wild game and fruits of tree and vine filled the virgin land. Flowers and blossoming shrubs lent beauty to this wilderness. Rivers and creeks teamed with fish and offered means of travel and trade routes. The streams, which flowed southeast from their mountain sources to the sea, were to influence the north-south trade routes that later developed. This was the habitat for Indians of various tribes – forest children whose Asian forbearers claimed this region centuries before and first made our land their home.In 1752 Bishop Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg and a group of Moravians from Pennsylvania traveled the area of North Carolina from Edenton to the Blue Ridge in search of a suitable location to establish a settlement and kept a diary of their travels. On page 14, Ms. Medley reports some of their findings.
To the west was the Iroquoian, including the Cherokee, while in the present areas of Anson, Rowan and Mecklenburg were found the Siouan tribes. It is thought that these tribes ran out members of the Muskogian group whose culture spread along the Pee Dee and Little rivers from 1550 to 1650. The later date is given by anthropologists and archeologists for the rout of the earlier tribes by the Siouans.
The Siouan Indians lived on or near the border where South Carolina and Anson territory joined, and reached down into the coastal area.
New Hanover County, grandmother of Anson was only one year old in 1730. Bladen County, daughter of New Hanover and mother of Anson, had not been born. Before 1730, only the aboriginal red man held the Pee Dee region of which eastern Anson is part.
Maps locating the various Siouan tribes in North and South Carolina place the Waxhaws, Catawbas and Cheraws close to the line where present Anson, Mecklenburg, Union and Richmond counties join South Carolina. Southward on the Pee Dee River were the Pee Dees, while the Waccamaws were located on the lower tributary.
The Sugarees, Congarees and Waterees were not too far from the Indians living along the Anson-South Carolina border. Of the Siouan tribes, the Catawbas were the most powerful and were closest to present Anson, Rowan and other neighboring counties.
Spangenberg’s diary … gives a vivid description of the land from the eastern pine barrens to the more pleasing, undulating hills of the Piedmont, where he found the springs and fertile land he was seeking. He tells of the problems of colonizing, the deplorable conditions of the Indians, and the abundance of bear and panther, which would have to be destroyed to raise stock. “They [the Brethren] will probably settle in Anson County,” he wrote in his diary at one stop. From camps at “Little River – Anson County, twenty miles from the Catawba,” and “mouth of Little River – Anson County, North Carolina,” he wrote, “This is the first piece of land that we have taken up.”
There is an historical marker for the establishment of Prince Frederick’s Parish in 1734 near present-day Dunbar, SC in Georgetown County on Brown’s Ferry Road (South Carolina Route 51). This is the closest I can determine to be the location of the little chapel where Burlingham and Elizabeth baptized their three children. In Anson, there is a town called Morven that is the closest identifiable location of where the Rudd family lived. Map Quest says the distance is about 225 miles and about a three hour drive by car. Based on an average of thirty miles a day by horseback, that’s about seven and half days, a wagon hauling household goods would move slower. The likely route the family traveled is described by Ms. Medley on page 43.
Old clippings from The Cheraw Chronicle tell of the old Cheraw roads. The road from Cheraw to Georgetown was the oldest. It ran by what is now Society Hill, passed to the east of Darlington, went by Mars Bluff parallel to the river, and on into Georgetown. River transportation was easier from Cheraw to Georgetown and on to Charleston.
This is a very useful map. It gives you an idea of the abundance of streams and creeks, as well as, the surrounding counties that developed while our Rudd family lived in the area. The yellow highlight on Jones and Mill creeks shows the general area of their land grants and deeds. Notice how the map includes the upper area of South Carolina. That is the old Cheraws District and Chesterfield County will be created on the Anson border in 1798. This is going to be important to sorting out the composition of the family. In the 1800 Chesterfield census, there is a Burlingham Rudd. The border has a long history of dispute and there are documented land grants that were issued for Anson and Bladen counties that extend into South Carolina. The old Cheraws District did not come into being until 1769, long after the North Carolina border counties along that area were settled. You might be able to see at the bottom right the Little Pee Dee River. This was the boundary when Anson was set off from Bladen as mentioned in the Governor’s Council Minutes above. Also, the green asterisk denotes the location of Ratcliff Mill and I’ve included it because in the 1820 census there is a Burlingham Rudd and a Burwell Rudd living in the Ratcliff Township. It appears this mill gave name to the township which limits appear to extend to the NC/SC border. The red asterisk is the location of the first Anson County Courthouse, jail and stocks. This location will also be a part of our story.
April 11, 1749 is the official date for Burlingham Rudd’s Crown Grant. This is the date that puts into effect the requirements as described in the patent: “Yielding and paying four shillings proclamation money every year for every hundred acres. Clearing and cultivating three acres for every hundred within three years and entering these letters with the auditors within six months.”
About a year and a half later something very peculiar happened. On October 12, 1750, Burlingham the father sold all 300 acres to John Red for forty pounds proclamation money. Then that same year, 1750, John Red sold Burlingham’s 300 acres to James Stewart for forty pounds proclamation money, and Burlingham witnessed this deed. Then on April 15, 1751 James Stewart sold the same 300 acres back to Burlingham for twenty pounds proclamation money.
To me, this looks like Burlingham borrowed forty pounds from John Red and used his land as collateral. John Red then sold the IOU to James Stewart for the same amount and Burlingham was a witness to the second deed because he now was obligated to repay the loan to James Stewart. And six months later, Burlingham buys his land back from James Stewart, but he pays half the price he sold it for in the first transaction. Wouldn’t you like to know what that was all about? Me too! One thing I think it safe to assume, the Rudds didn’t move off the land for six months. For some reason it looks like Burlingham needed some cash and forty pounds is quite a bit for the times. But the colonies as a general rule were cash poor. They were after all commercial enterprises under the authority of the British government for the purposes of providing raw materials for export. Those materials were restricted to export only to the British mainland and other colonies, and the same applied to imports. Trade was restricted to Britain.
Most of those who came to the Piedmont, particularly the first couple of decades of settlement, were sustenance farmers. They grew enough crops and raised enough livestock to feed their families, barter with neighbors, meet their patent requirements, and sell for export. Unlike South Carolina, where the backcountry small farmers brought their goods into the urban area of Charleston to sell, there was no urban area in Anson County. Eventually, migration down The Great Wagon Road, which was west of Anson, facilitated the development of settlements along its path and those grew into towns and later cities, but in the early days of settlement, the Pee Dee settlers were on the frontier edge of the colony. The natural barriers that inhibited the migration of settlers from the coastal plains area into the Piedmont were also barriers to economic development. Moving goods to market was a problem because the rivers flowed north-south and there were no dependable roads moving west-east. The natural market for import and export for Anson County farmers was South Carolina. Once goods arrived overland at Cheraws, SC, they could then be transported down the Pee Dee to Georgetown and Charleston. Likewise, ready made goods that the Pee Dee settlers needed to buy came up from South Carolina. As a result, North Carolina backcountry farmers were adding to the wealth of South Carolinians, and eventually, the North Carolina Assembly will take steps to impose imports fees on goods coming from South Carolina, thus, contributing to the foundation for coming unrest in the backcountry.
On January 26, 1757 Burlingham the father sold 200 acres of his 300 acres grant to Burlingham the son for twenty pounds sterling. Based on the 1745 baptism record, Burlingham Jr. had just turned fifteen years old the previous October 12, 1756.
At this point, let’s look at what the law said about legal age and land ownership for free males. From Robert W. Baird at Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet:
Under the common law, full majority was reached at the age of 21. Anyone under 21 was legally an infant. Only persons who had reached majority could perform certain legal actions: Buy or sell land without restriction, vote or hold public office, bring suit in one’s own name, devise land in a will, sign a bond or note, patent land, marry without consent, act as a guardian, serve on a jury.So, common law dictated that a free male was required to be 21 years old to purchase land, but the reason was based on the fact that under the age of 21 was considered an infant/minor and, therefore, he could back out of the deal. In the case of Burlingham the father selling a tract of his land to his son, the likelihood of default on Junior’s part was not an issue.
Minors and Land: The particular case of land transactions deserves special attention. Minors could, of course, own land acquired by gift or inheritance. Land was never without title, so a father’s will devising land to a minor resulted in the minor’s immediate ownership regardless of age. Likewise, the land of an intestate person fell immediately to a specific heir, even if a minor, under the law of succession.
However, it is rare to find minors selling land. Nothing in the common law prevented a minor from selling land, but the contract was unenforceable if the minor later changed his mind. As Blackstone expressed it: “an infant can neither aliene his lands, nor do any legal act, nor make a deed, nor indeed any manner of contract… that is of any force or effect.” That is, the minor could renege on the sale at any time. No prudent buyer would contract with a minor. The other party to the deed or contract was best served by either renting the land (the risk was lowered) or by contracting with the infant’s guardian, who had the right to dispose of the minor’s property or bind an infant’s estate to a contract. In cases where the infant himself sells land (quite a rare occurrence), we usually find contractual language requiring him to reaffirm the sale upon reaching majority and usually a subsequent deed upon reaching majority. Persons under 21 generally sold land through a guardian, a “next friend”, or a father.
Likewise, nothing in the common law prevented an infant from buying land or other property. But, again, such an action could be later be repudiated by the minor. Therefore, for the same reasons, we generally find such purchases made on the infant’s behalf by an adult guardian or next friend. Blackstone points out that an infant could renege on any contract upon reaching majority: “an infant may also purchase lands, but his purchase is incomplete: for, when he comes to age, he may either agree or disagree to it, as he thinks prudent or proper, without alleging any reason…”
Virginia in 1642 made these questions moot by enacting a statute to eliminate the “bad effects of tradeing and trucking with orphants” by legislating that anyone who attempted to “barter, bargain, buy or sell with orphants under age shall lose all that he so bartereth” plus a penalty of twice the value. To assure enforcement, the law provided that the informer would receive half the penalty.
Another interesting aspect of this deed is that Burlingham the son paid his father twenty pounds sterling for the 200 acres. If this was only a case of legally transferring the land from father to son, one pound would have sealed the deal. So I think there must have been some significance to the purchase price, as well as, the money being in the form of sterling rather than proclamation money. And wouldn’t you like to know how a fifteen year old boy came into possession of twenty pounds sterling? Me too!
On Page 15 of her book, Ms. Medley says this about sterling money.
The earliest deeds in the Pee Dee area show that tracts from one hundred to two hundred acres were common. Some were for less than a hundred, while a few were three to five hundred, or more. While a number of white settlers paid for the land in English sterling, much of it was purchased with North Carolina or Virginia proclamation money. In the 1750’s it was said that a man could be spotted for the amount of sterling he possessed; one might ask how.One more thing I’d like to point out to you before I move on to our next mystery. Notice on the deed of Burlingham to John Red Burlingham the father has his legal signature, on the deed between John Red and James Stewart that Burlingham the father witnessed, he has his legal signature, not a mark. And on the deed between father and son, Burlingham the father has his legal signature. Either Burlingham Rudd came to Charleston, SC already having the ability to sign his name or he learned how to sign his name after he arrived. I doubt the latter.
In the “Minutes of the Lower House of the North Carolina General Assembly, November 23, 1758 - December 23, 1758, Volume 05, on page 1083” we find Burlingham Rudd named in the Attorney General’s report. You can read the entirety of the minutes at Documenting the American South or HERE where I have truncated the relevant part of the report.
In Salisbury Court, Robert Jones Jr., Attorney General for the Province of North Carolina, reports back to the Assembly on his efforts to recover money from several people who are indebted to the public. On October 15, 1754, the Assembly had granted proclamation money designated for supplying the frontier with arms and ammunition. It appears that the grants were in 250 pound allotments. The Assembly had ordered the Attorney General to pursue this action by a resolution made on October 14, 1755 (three years earlier and one year after the grants were given) and as a result the AG has filed legal actions against named individuals. I can find no explanation in the Assembly minutes for why the AG had been instructed to recover the money.
An Action of Debt against Caleb Howell and others on a Bond to the same purposes and sum as those above mentioned On which Judgment hath been recovered for £297.10.0 proclamation Money and a Ca. Sa. issued thereon by virtue of which the Sheriff of Anson County returned that he had taken Wm Little and Burlingham Rudd &c and that they had escaped out of his Custody.The language states the same purpose and sum as above mentioned. The purpose was to supply arms and ammunition. But the amount mentioned above was 250 pounds. The recovery was 297 pounds and ten shillings. According to my math, that’s more than 250 pounds, but maybe that was including interest. If the money was recovered, why did the AG issue an order to the Anson County Sheriff to take William Little and Burlingham Rudd into custody? Wouldn’t you like to know what Burlingham’s involvement was in that? Me too!
On page 18 of her book, Ms. Medley identifies Caleb Howell:
A deed dated July 20, 1753 reads, John Clark to Charles Robinson, Caleb Howell and Andrew Pickens, Justices for Anson County, a site for court house, etc. Wit. A. F. Smith and Joseph White.So Caleb Howell was a Justice for Anson County. The AG then states that he issued a writ requiring William Little and others and their securities to show cause why the judgment against them should not be executed. The AG also filed an action of debt against William Little in the Wilmington Supreme Court. A second action of debt against Caleb Howell was filed to which the 250 pounds with interest had been recovered, after which Caleb Howell sold his lands and effects and absconded to Georgia. Therefore, the AG had filed suit against the estate of Charles Robinson, deceased, who was Caleb Howell’s security. Charles Robinson was also a Justice for Anson County.
It appears that John Hamer was Sheriff of Anson in 1758 and I’m pretty sure he knew where to find Burlingham Rudd. I’ve not found any more records about this matter, but Ms. Medley provides us with more information about the reason for the grant of proclamation money on pages 21-22 of her book in Chapter 5, Anson in the French and Indian War.
War had broken out in America between the French and English in 1754. Washington (George) was leading colonial troops westward to put down Indian troubles. For over 50 years, the French had wanted to force the English out of America and gain full control of the lands from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River. The fur trade was a factor.If these two situations are related, and my best guess is they are, it seems that Caleb Howell who was a Justice for Anson County was the recipient of the grant from the General Assembly to procure arms and ammunition for the Anson militia. After Governor Dobbs arrived in North Carolina he received a communication from Anson County settlers that indicated they were in need of arms and ammunition for defense because they had less than a thousand men in the militia and less than half of them were armed. That seems to indicate that Caleb Howell did not use the grant as intended. If I was investigating where the money went, I’d be looking for records and receipts and this seems to indicate that Burlingham Rudd and William Little were involved in the procurement of the arms and ammunition in some capacity. So the Assembly had instructed the AG to have the Anson County Sheriff take Rudd and Little into custody as a part of the investigation. The Sheriff reported back to the AG that he had indeed taken both into his custody, but they had escaped … which sounds suspicious to me! Makes me wonder what the Sheriff knew about all this! According to my notes, the date of the “jail break” was December 19, 1758. In keeping with his responsibilities, the AG then filed a writ of judgment that required Rudd and Little to declare and justify why they should not be held accountable. I have not found any records that would tell us any more details, but since we know Burlingham went right on living in Anson County on his property, my guess is he satisfied the writ in some manner and the order for arrest was vacated.
The following extract from The Colonial Records gives some idea of the vast extent of Indian tribes in the Carolinas between 1754 and 1756:
The Catawba Nation under King Hagler are of Warriors, 240. The Warriors of the Cherokee Nations are 2,390 divided into different settlements viz. the Savannah River under the Good Warrior Headman, 275. On the Waters of the Mississippi under Raven of Cowee, 715. The Upper Settlement of Mississippi under Round O Head Man, 415. In the Valley under Raven of Highwasa, 545. The lower Settlement of Mississippi under Emperor Tillaw and Old Hop of Chote, the two head men of the Cherokee Nation, 640-2,590.
A year after Rowan was formed from Anson, August 9, 1754, a treaty was signed between the whites and Catawbas in Rowan and Anson counties. King Hagler was present with sundry of his headmen and warriors. James Carter and Alexander Osborne were the Commissioners signing the treat.
At the time people were making complaints against the Indians, and many who were without means of defense feared daily for their lives. Royal Governor Arthur Dobbs had issued paper money to aid a number of projects in the province, including aid for the poorer inhabitants of Anson to purchase weapons and ammunition “in order to properly defend themselves.” When Governor Dobbs reached the colony of North Carolina he was warmly greeted because of his activities on behalf of the province. With a note of felicitation from Anson County settlers also came a cry for help. They related how murderers had carried off several person and killed others and reported that “other cruelties by Indians had been prevented by our aspiring neighbors to the south,” South Carolinians.
Colonel John Clark had reported Indian trouble to Matthew Rowan, president of the Council, on September 2, 1754. Rowan received news that fifteen persons had been killed on the north side of Broad River and that ten others had been killed or taken captive. Dobbs in a report to the Board of Trade sent from New Bern on July 12, 1756, stated that Anson militia and tithables were less than a thousand. He also reported less than half the militia armed. However, a breather from Indian trade trouble had been brought about earlier through Dobb’s influence on August 29, 1755, when a treaty was made with the Catawbas. They were given a tract of land fifteen miles square containing 144,000 acres, although the government wished to allow them only 96,000.
Our next mystery involves George Lounsdell Rudd. In my last narrative I made mention of a land record in Anson County for George Lounsdell that seems to give an indication of his birth year. On June 6, 1759 a survey for 150 acres on Jones Creek and adjoining Burlingham’s line was conducted for George Lounsdell and the document names the tract of land as “Lounsdell’s Folly”. The chain barriers were Burlingham Rudd and Burlingham Rudd, Jr. Almost three years later, on April 24, 1762 the land was entered into the land office book and officially granted the same day to George Lounsdell Rudd and confirmed as “Lounsdell’s Folly”. This was a purchase patent. I don’t know what the cost per acre was for land during this time, but the system of headright had been changed because some were manipulating the system to accumulate large tracts of land as absentee landlords which defeated the purpose of encouraging settlers and/or they were reselling the land for profit.
Traditionally, the procedures for acquiring land were to first identify land that you wanted to acquire and you were best served if you determined the land had not been claimed by anyone else. Under the headright system, you knew based on the acres allotted per person and the number of people in your family, how many acres you would be allowed; under the purchase patent system, you knew how much the land cost per acre, so you knew how much you could afford. The next step was to enter a description of your choice into the land warrant book; this was the entered date for the grant. The entry acted as a warrant to the surveyor to perform a survey of the land and it also allowed the surveyor the opportunity to determine if any one else had laid claim to the land. Next, the land was surveyed for a fee. When the survey was completed, the grant was issued when the cost and fees had been paid. So this transaction for Lounsdell’s Folly does not follow the traditional order of procedures. In this instance, the survey was performed before the land was entered into the land warrant book and the book entry and grant date are the same. There may be a clue here.
Looking back at the information provided by Robert W. Baird that states the legal age to own land was twenty-one years old, for George Lounsdell to be legal age in 1759 he would have to have been born by 1738, before Martha. If he was born in 1745/6 he would be only thirteen to fourteen years old at the time of the survey. In 1762 when the land is officially granted he would be sixteen to seventeen years old. So according to the laws of North Carolina, George Lounsdell would have to have been born before Martha to legally purchase land from the provincial government. This wasn’t a private sale, and it wasn’t a family transfer of property as was the one between Burlingham the father and son. And the name on the survey and grant was not Burlingham the father, it was in George Lounsdell’s name.
Now, back to the issue of there being three named children in the 1745 baptisms in the Prince Frederick Parish Register; Martha born 1738/9, Burlingham Jr. born 1741 and Walter born 1743/4. No George Lounsdell is listed. Burlingham the father’s Crown Grant was for 300 acres and it appears to have been a headright, especially since we now understand he had established a claim to the land before Anson County was formed. At fifty acres per person, that was six people, but three children and two parents equates to five people, thus, George Lounsdell was born either before Martha and was already baptized or after the October 27, 1745 baptism date and before Burlingham the father registered his land in Bladen County in October 1748.
Determining George Lounsdell’s birth year is important to understanding the make up of the branches of the family that will form in the next generation because when we incorporate him into the birth order of Burlingham and Elizabeth’s children, the difference is about ten years. The only record we have, the 1745 Prince Frederick Parish Register, does not list him but that doesn’t mean he had not been born. We don’t have the luxury of birth records from Prince George Parish and that is possibly the parish where they were married and living since Prince Frederick Parish was not established until 1734. That’s really too close to discount because we have no information about when the little chapel there was built. The Church of England was the official church of the royal colonies and in both the Carolinas, on and off again, the only church that was allowed to perform marriages and baptisms. It doesn’t mean that Burlingham and Elizabeth were adherents to the Anglican Church, but they may have made use of it. So in the absence of a birth record for George Lounsdell, we look to the laws of the province for historical context and you see how that turns out. Now that I have either clarified or confused you about the evidence we have available, l will tell you what my instinct tells me, my best guess based on all that I have presented to you in this narrative and to borrow a phrase from my favorite TV detective, Adrian Monk ... “Here’s what happened" ...
Burlingham and Elizabeth baptized their three children on October 27, 1745 and soon departed for Anson County. Burlingham had already made provision for the family to relocate and leaving in the fall season to be settled in for winter would have been practical, some of the most threatening wildlife was about to become dormant for the winter, the underbrush would be dying back in the forests and it was conducive to an early spring planting season. Sometime during that first year, Elizabeth gave birth to George Lounsdell, so I’ll give him the birth year of 1746. Elizabeth appears to follow the traditional pattern of birthing a child every 24-30 months and with Walter born 1743/4, then another child would likely come due about 1745/6. By October 1748 there were six people in the family, and that sure seems to indicate four children.
The area began to populate to the extent that living in the wilderness was being impacted by a need for some form of law enforcement, therefore, registering land titles became necessary. Same thing happens in today’s environment, you move out to an unpopulated area, you enjoy the freedom and solitude but gradually others move in and change it, that usually follows with those looking to take what someone else has made. But I digress.
In October 1750, Burlingham the father, borrowed money and used his land as collateral. Six months later he paid off the lien for half of what he owed. Seems likely he either bartered the rest of the loan or had already been making payments and the twenty pounds he paid to James Stewart on April 15, 1751 was the balance of his debt. Let’s imagine that the money was used to finance some type of enterprise like perhaps a personal business that would have been conducive to his involvement in procuring arms and ammunition for the county militia in 1754. He eventually managed to satisfy the writ, one way or another. It sure does seem suspicious to me that the Anson County Sheriff would admit to the Attorney General of the Providence of North Carolina that he had followed his orders to arrest Burlingham Rudd and William Little but they had escaped from his custody. I have no doubt that the Sheriff knew where to find Burlingham. And I'm pretty sure that under this provincial government, the County Sheriff had the same boss as the Attorney General!
On October 14, 1756, Burlingham Rudd, Jr. had his fifteenth birthday. Two months later, January 26, 1757, this enterprising young man, who had somehow acquired twenty pounds sterling, persuaded his father to sell him 200 acres of the 300 acres grant for which he gives his father the twenty pounds sterling. I can imagine that this land deal had been a topic of conversation between father and son for sometime. I can almost hear the words between father and son and all the plans Junior had for what he could do with that land, can’t you? Where did Junior get the money? Maybe he earned it. Maybe he won it. But wherever Junior got the money, it seems he wanted his father to have it and perhaps his father thought it best he be relieved of it.
I can also imagine that as George Lounsdell was approaching his teen years, he was pestering his father about wanting his own tract of land, like his big brother. So on June 6, 1759, Burlingham the father had a 150 acre track that bordered his old line surveyed for George Lounsdell and gave it the name Lounsdell’s Folly because it was indeed folly for a thirteen year old boy, but he did it anyway. The survey secured the land and guaranteed that George Lounsdell would have his own land adjoining the family lands. My guess is that Burlingham the father arranged for the survey through his "connections" in the community and that is why the survey doesn’t follow the traditional procedures. Burlingham could have had the land under his own name and followed the letter of the law, and transferred the title with a one pound sale to George Lounsdell, but in the backcountry, he made it happen because it was important that the land be in George Lounsdell’s name. And on April 24, 1762, when George Lounsdell was about sixteen years old, the land was officially granted to him because even though the transaction did not follow the letter of the law, Burlingham, his father made it happen. What he did for one son, he did for the other son.
Which brings me to the son named Walter Rudd. I’ve never found any reference to him again in the North Carolina records. The first son to emerge is Burlingham Jr., next is George Lounsdell. It appears that Walter died by 1759 because if he hadn’t I think we would have found a land record for him before we find the first one for George Lounsdell. There was ample opportunity for death in the frontier wilderness. Later in our story there will be a land deed that has an addendum which mentions the graveyards and says … “liberty to Burlingham Rud his to keep up forever without any hindrance of denial”.
It is generally accepted that our colonial history ends at the end of the French and Indian War, 1763; or rather it was the aftermath of the French and Indian War that laid the foundation for the American Revolution.
That’s the setting for the next part of our story.
A History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750-1976, by Mary L. Medley
Bob’s Genealogy File Cabinet
Documenting the American South
Historical Marker Database
History of North Carolina | NCpedia
North Carolina History: A Digital Textbook - LEARN NC
North Carolina Office of Archives and History
North Carolina State Archives