TSGS Cruiser Blog

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Darrah's Genealogical Seminar at Willard Library"

' Yesterday, I attended a genealogical seminar at Willard Library where a fellow Indiana Society SAR member, Ron Darrah, presented two programs on immigration routes into the Midwest & Indiana. He mentioned "National Roads" that made migration easier. He suggested reading William Dollarhide's "Map Guide to American Routes, 1735-1815" (published in 1997). Afterwards, I decided to check out this book of Dollarhide's (I have his U.S. Census book for 1790 to 1920 showing county changes). This is what I learned about one road that clearly links a strong probability of how my WEST family came to Granville Co., NC. During the decade of the 1740's, the water transportation routes were no longer adequate to gain access to new farming areas. The upgrading of trading trails to full-fledged roads for wagon traffic was necessary. Filling this need was the Upper Road which began at Fredericksburg, VA (on the King's Highway that continued along the coast line) and continued across Virginia to North Carolina, but lying west of the Fall Line Road. In the mid-1740's, the propriety governor of the Granville District began issuing land grants to Quakers, Scotch-Irish and others from the tidewater counties of NC & VA. From Fredericksburg, the general route of the Upper Road was west of present day Interstate 85... and then at the state line the road followed closely to Interstate 85 southwesterly to Charlotte, NC & into Spartanburg & Greenville, SC. In VA this road went through current counties of Caroline, Louisa, Amelia, Lunenburg & others right into Granville County, NC. For those of us who claim Thomas West, Sr. to be their ancestor (or apparent ancestor), all of the above just might be extremely important. Thomas West, Sr. born before 1718 and died in Chatham Co., NC in 1808 can first be found in Granville Co., NC in 1750 when his son, Ignatius, claims to be born there in 1750. There is no earlier record of Thomas prior to this date. There exists tax lists & deed records that establish Thomas in Granville Co. during the 1750's with several of his sons. At least some of this line of the WEST have connections to Quakers. Migration routes from VA would bring many farmers from the Louisa Co. area directly to Granville Co. Three children of William Meacham from VA. married offspring of Thomas West, Sr. including Ignatius and two daughters of Thomas West, Jr. Another family inter-marrying West family members was the Buckners who also migrated from Caroline Co., VA where the Meachams were from. Caroline County was south of Fredericksburg adjoining Hanover County which adjoins Louisa Co., VA. This all suggests that (possibly) Thomas West, Sr. migrated along the Upper Road from the Caroline/Hanover/Louisa County area of VA to Granville Co., NC between the 1740's to just before 1750! From y-DNA, we have learned that we have West family connections to Hanover & Louisa County areas. Further, it would seem that Thomas West, Sr. should be found in this Caroline/Hanover/Louisa County area of VA in the time frame of the 1730's thru 1740's. Sometime before 1739, Thomas became an adult; and, we know he was in Granville Co., NC by 1750 making a window of time of about 10 to 20 years! This information may be very helpful to many who might read this since this is how many that ended in Kentucky, Tennessee or Georgia migrated from Maryland,Virginia & the Carolinas. - Compiled by JGWest