Many of us do not know how our ancestors traveled during the great migration years of the 18th-century. In other words, we don’t know if they walked the entire way, if they traveled by wagon or by cart. The way they traveled would also detail the length of the trip. To understand the number of people migrating during this period, one needs to grasp the actual population numbers. According to statistics and ground study, North Carolina’s population during 1729 consisted of approximately 30,000 people. By 1752, the number increased to over 50,000 and 80,000 by 1755. Further research demonstrates 120,000…


The Great Warrior’s Path, otherwise known as the Great Wagon Road, traveled southward from western Maryland to the crossing of the Potomac River.(1) During a 1722 meeting with Colonel Alexander Spotswood of Virginia and the Five Nations of Iroquois, an agreement confirming the traveling limitations strictly to the Warrior’s route and not west of the Blue Ridge Mountains was achieved.(2) Spotswood reflected upon this meeting as an act of peace and growth for the area of Virginia. The treaty proves the population growth into the area immediately after the 1722 meeting and the popularity of the road known as the…


The great migration in North Carolina’s history occurred throughout the mid 18th century. During the 1740 decade, hundreds of families from middle and northern colonies traveled to the piedmont region of North Carolina and other points south. By 1750, many religious groups were embarking on the same adventure as long-line caravans began to dot the landscape consisting of church member congregations. The Moravians were one such group, migrating during the year 1752.2 The rules were simple, first, locate the Lord Granville tract. Second, choose land that is free from others. Third, apply for a land warrant at the Granville land…


If I were to say to you, I have a good book for you to read, what would be your response? The most likely reaction would be what is in the book, right? Determining a “good” book is not judged by its cover. But by the reception of the content and feedback to others. We all express our opinions openly at different points and times by public reviews or during a personal conversation. The contents of any book are equivalent to the ultimate prize inside. So, why is it that older books automatically retain a reputation with labels such as…


“This day we passed through a great many towns and settlements that belong to the Sugeree Indians. About three in the afternoon, we reached Kadapau King’s house where we met with one John Stewart, a Scot, then an inhabitant of James River, Virginia.”

John Lawson 1709

The quote mentioned above the photo first appeared on a small sheet of paper written by John Lawson(1674–1711). A surveyor by trade, Lawson embarks on an exploration in 1709 through the frontier areas known today as North and South Carolina. His personal manuscript is a treasure for all who read his words and capture…


The Culper Spy Ring is a small group of patriots during the American Revolutionary War. The actions of the Culper Spy Ring allows view to the techniques of early spy intelligence. The various methods and correspondence techniques achieved remarkable plots against the British forces. During the years of 1778 to 1785, this mastermind group held one goal in mind. To win freedom and liberty. This is a very simple definition of an extraordinary group of people. Consisting of both male and female participants, these brave patriots jeopardized their livelihood. …


photo courtesy of Pinterest

Words about past and present can and will be distorted daily using all kinds of formats. A general rule of thumb these days is to have the reader distinguish between what is real and what is not. Picture it as a roller coaster that continues to spiral down constantly in all directions with no stopping point. Or, may-be a better example would be a guessing game, you read and then guess between truth and fiction; between opinion and fact; between right and wrong. The majority have always been overwhelmed with the thirst of printed words proclaiming a refreshing taste. Yet…


Common surnames such as Smith are adventuresome when it comes to our personal family history. A key factor that many family historians devour is the concentration on the surname itself. An example of this is Peter Schmidt (Smith) arrived to the colonies circa 1710. Where does Peter Smith live after arriving? How did Peter Smith prosper himself and possibly his family? What other individuals arrived with Peter Smith? Did these same people settle in proximity to Peter Smith? These are powerful questions that should come to mind prior to beginning your personal research. Broaden your horizons by first applying your…


“Our Ancestors Left An Amazing Trail To Follow…Enjoy Your Journey Today” Piedmont Trails


Grave Markers Under an Oak Tree located in Accomack County, Virginia-Pictured in the background is the Ralph T. Whitelaw house. The right wing was built circa 1673 (Courtesy of The Library of Congress)

When one expands a family tree to the 17th century, a new world emerges. A distinctive society develops upon the pages of long ago equipped with unfamiliar customs, culture and standard daily living. Strange writing phrases and patterns are quickly noticeable by examining the time period materials and documents. Researching the 17th century is different from future centuries but very entertaining and intriguing. This fascinating time period quickly becomes a new learning curve for the majority involved with genealogy research. You can accomplish the task by broadening your horizons and allowing the flow of this century to drive you forward…

Piedmont Trails

My life journey expands with fascinating expeditions. I hope to inspire you to take up the task & explore the past. Enjoy your journey.

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