The Research Team offers a few clues and hints about the Great Wagon Road and the project. Moving from the Dan River in present-day Stokes County, North Carolina, in a southwesterly direction, the road continues, unlike other previous documents, which state that the road took a more western turn heading directly to the Yadkin River. The proof dwells in the people and their records who traveled to the area before 1750. This timeline is crucial to the road’s origins for several reasons.
One is the constant additions of minor independent routes after the arrival of the Moravians during 1753. These secondary new roads altered the original path for Moravian communities to prosper and grow. Secondly, the Great Wagon Road is exceedingly distinguishable above the other two dominant passages entering North Carolina predating the timetable of 1750.
The attention spans back to the days of colonial travel as the team concentrates on the goal of the families. Reach the free lands, file a claim, build a shelter, cultivate the soil, and begin a new life. The waterways are crucial to sustaining a thriving farm and life itself. By the time the Moravians had arrived to scout the lands of North Carolina, the vital waterway lands were no longer available. Earlier families seized the opportunity of these lands by settling them before 1750. The unavailability explains in part for the expedition of 1752 and Spangenberg traveling west into present-day Blowing Rock and Boone areas seeking land with water, fertile soil, large timbers, and limestone.
The early settlements of Davidson’s Creek, Rocky River, and the Horseshoe along the Yadkin River further explains the proof of these existing families living in the area. These families traveled one of two original roads into North Carolina to the piedmont section. Other settlements along Second Creek, Brushy Forks, and Abbott’s Creek prove surnames dating before 1750. The Quaker communities of Cane Creek and New Garden exist in 1748. The Jersey Settlement offers proof of the people in handwritten documentation. Various materials prove the roads, shortcuts, sidetracks, and footpaths before 1750.
A small sampling of surnames containing individuals filing a warrant claim for lands in the piedmont sections of North Carolina before 1750 are listed below. Please understand, this listing does not include individuals who purchased land directly, and those numbers are much more compelling. Robert Lepper, Edward Givings, Peter Ellet, James McDowell, John Killin, Leonard Killin, Andrew Killins, Andrew Lambert, Joel McClendon, James Jewers, John Tyson, Jacob McClandon, Robert Runux, William Sherrill, James Hanee, Laurell Coborn, Thomas Potts, Preston Goforth, Henry Whitner, Tyne Harris, John Mangus, Samuel Cubburn, John Cathey, John Price, John Pressey, John McGee, Samuel Davis, John Brandon, Morgan Bryan, James Alexander and Archibald Hambleton.
The Research Team will share more updates in the coming weeks. Until then, please feel encouraged to share your knowledge of the Great Wagon Road by contacting Piedmont Trails. Enjoy Your Journey To The Past.