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The Early Settlers of Stokes County, North Carolina

Formed in 1789, Stokes County was created from Surry County, NC. It was named after  Revolutionary War patriot, Captain John Stokes. The county is located in the northern section of the Piedmont area and borders the state line of Virginia. Majority of pioneers who traveled down The Great Wagon Road would have passed through the Stokes County area to reach their new lands. If you wish to read more about our Great Wagon Road series, follow the links here and here. The lands of Stokes County were very fertile with both the Yadkin and the Dan River flow freely through the area. This will be the first segment of many more to follow later this spring. Let the exploration begin as we trace the footsteps of these early pioneers.

We begin with the Banner family who migrated from England to Pennsylvania in 1740. Henry Banner with wife, Eleanor Martin, traveled from Pennsylvania to Carolina in 1751. This trip took place when the Great Wagon Road was nothing more than a trail through the back country. Henry Banner settled along the banks of Town Fork Creek near present day Germanton. Son, Joseph Banner, born December 28, 1749 in Pennsylvania, served in the Surry County militia. Joseph volunteered at Old Richmond on July 13, 1776 and he served twelve months as a Minute Man. Joseph married May 17, 1771 to Sarah McAnally. The McAnally family moved from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Amherst County, Virginia and then to Stokes County, North Carolina. Sarah’s parents are Charles McAnally and Ruhamah Houston. They were married in Virginia and migrated to Carolina after the birth of Sarah on August 8, 1755. Charles and Ruhamah McAnally are both buried in the family cemetery located near the Snow Creek area and the Dan River.


Dan River, Stokes County, NC

Joseph and Sarah Banner had 7 children, Charles(1773) married Rebecca Evans, Charity(1776) married Jesse Griggs, Ruhama(1778) married Wyatt Peoples, Elisha(1782-1810), Mary(1785) married Joseph Griggs, Sarah(1788) married 1st cousin Charles McAnally and Joseph(1792) married Anna Armstrong. Joseph and Sarah Banner both died in Stokes County and are buried near their home. Joseph died April 24, 1838 and Sarah on July 4, 1844.

The Scott family in Stokes County begins with Daniel. Daniel Scott was from Powhatan County, Virginia where he was born in 1759. He married Ann Radford Poindexter and traveled from Virginia to Stokes County sometime prior to 1790. Their son Robert Scott, was born along the banks of the Yadkin River on August 17, 1790. Robert married Mary Martin April 9, 1818. Mary’s parents are Valentine Martin and Elizabeth Dalton. Valentine Martin was the son of Job Martin.

John Kiser and wife Phoebe arrived in Carolina soon after 1781. According to the 1786 census taken by Charles McAnally, they were living in Blackburn’s district along the banks of Town Fork Creek near present day Germanton. The children of this union are Philip(1780 in Pennsylvania) married Polly Morris, John(1782 in Pennsylvania) married Margaretha Fesler, Harmon(1784 in Pennsylvania) married Sally Kiger, Michael(1790 in Stokes County) married Judith Boles and Frederick(1791 in Stokes County) married Nancy Childress.


The Beasley family arrived in Stokes County from Virginia in 1787. Benjamin Beasley was born February 1760 in Caroline County, Virginia to Richard and Martha Beasley. He was a veteran of the American Revolution. Benjamin married Rachel Prather September 30, 1791 at the home of John Martin, a magistrate of Stokes County. Benjamin settled around the Francisco area and had 5 children. John(1792), Susanna(1794), Enoch(1796), Nancy(1798) and Ammon(1800). Benjamin died in 1841 in Patrick County, Virginia. Benjamin’s brother, Robert Beasley was born in 1762 and married Keziah of Cherokee Native origins. The family lived near Turkey Cock Creek and raised at least 4 sons, Richard, Jonathan, Elisha and Henry. It appears that Jonathan and Elisha later migrated to Indiana.

William Boles was born about 1730, he migrated from Virginia to Carolina by 1766. William had at least 4 sons and 1 daughter. James Boles, son of William, was born circa 1754. He migrated down the Great Wagon Road with his parents and siblings. James married in 1775 to Molly, maiden name unknown, and lived near Town Fork Creek area. He owned 300 acres of land and had six children.  Alexander(1776) married Bethenia Walker, Abel(1779) married Milly Reddick, William(1785) married Margaret Boles, Nancy never married, had one son, Rebecca married Hugh Boyles and Edward(1800) married Rebecca Boyles. James died January 1828 still owning the original 300 acres of land.

Joseph Bolerjack was living in Pennsylvania during the year of 1741. Joseph assisted David Tannenberg, builder of organs, in Lititz, Pennsylvania. He married Maria Haller on August 31, 1741 in Muddy Creek, Pennsylvania. Children born in Pennsylvania were Joseph, Johannes, Anna Maria and Maria Elizabeth. Joseph left Lititz on June 4, 1771 and arrived in Bethania, North Carolina on June 28, 1771. The diaries of the Moravians state that lodging was given to the family as they stayed in the tanner house for a short while. Joseph Bolerjack built cabinets, organs and many other items. Some of these items are on display at Old Salem, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, NC. The family later settled near Germanton and maintained a huge farm consisting of 2, 000 acres.


Pinnacle, Stokes County, NC

The pioneers who lived in this area learned quickly how to survive on the frontier. Few settlements were in existence during the 18th century and the settlers were challenged with harsh winters, floods, sickness and droughts. Today, Stokes County has over 50,000 residents living in the area. During the 18th century, the majority of the inhabitants were Scotch-Irish, Germans and Cheraw Indians. Join us for the 2nd segment of this series coming later this spring.

We also wanted to share the news of our new website, Piedmont Trails Genealogy . The site will eventually contain all of the genealogy material we have on hand. We will continue updating our main website with new blogs, genealogy links, maps and recipes.  We would like to express our gratitude and thanks for supporting Piedmont Trails.

Photographer NOTES!!! more the better!

28 replies »

  1. I’m just wondering where Daniel Boone fits into this, was he before these settlers? He supposedly brought the first settlers into the piedmont area.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so very much for allowing me access to your fun and informative site! I just happened upon the link to it, which was attached to one of my ancestors- Charles McAnally 1731 PA- 1810 NC (my 6th Great Grandfather) profile on family search. I am so excited about your stories and content- I have been reading for hours since I found it and can’t get enough! I have seen mention of at least 30 of my family surnames already! Most of my ancestors must have used the old Carolina or “Great Wagon Trail”, as they first started out in PA or VA and then migrated to NC before heading West to Tennessee and then after the Civil War, they moved westward again until they reached Texas where they stayed settled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn, Thank You So Much for your kind words !! I, like you, have family who traveled these same roads during the mid to late 1700’s. I also have a line who settled in Texas and Oklahoma during the 1890’s and early 1900’s. Thank You Again and I hope you Enjoy Your Journey To The Past !!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for posting this information. I am interested in the family of Joel Halbert on LIttle Snow Creek and that of Morgan Davis along the Dan River. Have your run across these persons?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Emily, I hope you are doing well this week. What quickly comes to mind about Joel Halbert in Stokes County is that he is listed on several census records for that area and is married to a Poindexter. With Morgan Davis, nothing comes quickly to my mind. I may have more materials in my files on both of these individuals.


    • Hi Dancn323, I will have to look through my files to see. Do you have a specific family you are searching for? There were several Burress and several Hill families in the area during that time period.


  4. Henry Hill 1823-1864 Lucy Jane Buress Ruth Buress or Burris etc. My cousin and I are researching our family from Stokes and Rockingham County. Henry Hill died in the Civil War. I haven’t been able to find anything on him as far as his family (father-mother) are concerned. We know Ruth Burris owned land on Matrimony Creek. Lucy Buress Hill was her daughter, I believe they ended up moving to Guilford County. They lived around the Price Family, Henry Grogan family, Cobblers family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have glanced through my files for the following: Henry Hill married Lucy Jane Burris during the year of 1845 in Rockingham County, NC. Lucy is present until the year of 1885. She survives her husband’s death by 21 years. In regards to the lineage of Henry Hill, may I make a suggestion to you. I would look further into the family of William Hill born circa 1710. He arrived in the Walnut Cove area of present day Stokes County prior to 1760. He is buried in the Voss Family Cemetery. William married Susanna Smathers and had the following children; William Jr. Thomas, Robert, Ewell, Elizabeth, Daniel, Jessie, James, Joshua and Joel. Remnants of this family still reside in Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties today. Among the candidates for father in accordance to the 1830 census of Rockingham County are the following: Samuel Hill, Isaac Hill, Nathaniel Hill, Wilson S Hill and a widow by the name of Anne Hill who was living with her small children near Matrimony Creek. All of these candidates have males listed in their households in 1830 that fit the age of young Henry during that time period.


  5. Thank you for checking. We had were thinking Anne was Henrys’ mom. My cousin thinks that there is a Mills in our dna that may tie Anne & Henry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting article. I’m interested in John Dolin who filed a claim for 200 acres on the North Fork of Belew’s Creek on 3 Apr 1780. He died in Stokes County about 1802 and his estate said he owned 100 acres of land and 4 yards of broadcloth. The land claim was completed 15 Dec 1803. John Dolin left a widow Juriah and a minor son, John Dolin Jr. who was apprenticed on 7 Sept 1803 to John Close to learn carpentry. I’d like to find out any more information about any of these people. Who bought John’s land?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol, thanks for this post and all the posts. I have just recently begun to read through all the posts, working from earliest to the present. I was encouraged to see the Kiser family mentioned here. My wife descends from John Kiser. — Steve King

    Liked by 1 person

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