About Carol: The Author of Piedmont Trails

First of all, allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is Carol, and I have a long history with the past. Piedmont Trails descended from a deep personal passion for genealogy and history. Old family stories and family reunions initially began my journey as a kid growing up in North Carolina. It wasn’t until a school assignment presented itself; did I realize just how influential genealogy was to my heart. Mrs. Tatum, my 7th grade English teacher, required the entire class to complete a family genealogy book report consisting of no less than three generations. I was reluctant with this task at first. But, I quickly went into overdrive when I began gathering the information from my parents and grandparents. The sequence of tasking with notes and conversations contributed to writing my first family history analysis. The assignment was a huge success. Not only did I receive an A+ for a grade, but my eyes opened to a new world. The fascinating landscape captured the past with names, dates, events, and stories of long ago. This moment was a life-changing experience for me. From that day, a new outline overwhelmed me by changing my goals to learn everything about the people who lived before me.

It wasn’t until September of 2017 when the birth of Piedmont Trails came into being. The years before this were countless hours of research associated with routines of daily life. I receive loving support from my husband, two wonderful sons, and my grandchildren. This journey has filled me with a personal understanding of my ancestors. Getting to know them through personal letters, actions, and more became a real turning point for me, and it turned the tides of research and placed me on a different path. With history, I am the same. By seeking the details of the details, to completely understand why the Battle of Camden happened this way or why Thomas Jefferson abused his friendship with John Adams. Why the Civil War was inevitable from the start.

As you probably have already guessed, I own many books and filing cabinets to hold all of this information I’ve accumulated over the years. These various materials, maps, books and genealogy collections should not be stored without the light of day and this is how Piedmont Trails came into being. The name, Piedmont Trails, pertains to the piedmont area of North Carolina where I grew up filled with childhood memories, old family stories and history. From humble beginnings long ago, I set out on the task of learning and I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m still learning and so thankful for each new discovery. Looking back now, I laugh at myself as I remember that book report. Then I sit back and reflect on all the memories I now have. Yes, it’s been an amazing Journey!!

Piedmont Trails Projects

These are projects that are currently on my desk. The Great Wagon Road Project is a Huge one and will be years in the completion. The others are passionate subjects for me that are just as important. I am constantly searching for historical and genealogical materials, so don’t be surprised if I add more projects to this list as time goes on. If any of these topics carry an interest with you, let me know. There is nothing better than working together while preserving the past !!

The Great Wagon Road Project

This project is dedicated to preserving The Great Wagon Road and declaring it’s importance as a national historic trail. The road originated from the Indian Trail known as The Great Warriors’ Path and extended from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Augusta, Georgia. The project was created in June of 2019 and comprises of several volunteers who are seeking proof and documentation of the road. To learn more about this, simply click on the photo above and visit the Great Wagon Road Project page.

Update November 2021: Groundwork in Henry County, Virginia area through the end of the year. Research Team Meeting scheduled the 11th. Final analysis of Stokes County, North Carolina land grants to be completed by December 15th.

The Study of Indentured Servants

This project has equipped me with numerous new materials. I have always been fascinated with the actual numbers of indentured servants during the colonial period. I began the concentrated research in December of 2019 as a year project. Nearly three years later, this project is still going. The majority of history books, articles, and data proclaim that 75% of the colonial population were indentured servants, especially for the colony of Virginia. Advanced research is leading me to this conclusion and so much more. To learn more, click the photo above to visit the new Colonial Indentured Servants page.

The History of The Yadkin Valley Railroad

Another project that began in 2020 and moved into 2021 due to the restrictions of field work and the on going pandemic. The project is about the rich history of the Yadkin Valley Railroad in North Carolina. Spanning a distance just shy of 100 miles, this rail line is filled with history and fascinating stories. I am putting together a mixture of photos, history and family stories about the line and how it has contributed to the piedmont counties in North Carolina. If you have information about this historic railroad, click the photo above and contact Piedmont Trails.

FAQ About Piedmont Trails

Do you offer genealogy help?

Yes, almost daily. Since the launch of the website in 2017, hundreds of people have contacted Piedmont Trails. The majority are seeking information about a family member who has not surfaced during regular research. The requests received are from nearly all fifty states, with the most focus in North Carolina.

Do you offer lookups from your books and personal files?

Yes, the personal files date to 1990, with some files even older. These are paper files stored in the attic of Piedmont Trails. Tens of thousands of surnames date from the 14th century to the present. Also included are copies and originals of lesser-known survey maps, land deeds, diaries, journals, store ledgers, and much more. The collection represents over thirty years of hard work and dedication. Please provide as much information as possible when submitting a request. One of the random questions is, “Do you have anything on the Smith family in Virginia? Please be specific with your request by offering your current details and all of the information you have. For book lookups, specify the book and your request.

Are you available to give a presentation at our next meeting?

Yes and No. For the remainder of the year, 2021, presentations will not be available online or in person. The Great Wagon Road Project will soon begin steady groundwork accompanied with touring dates during 2022, and the number of speaking engagements for Piedmont Trails will be limited. Several events already scheduled for 2022 include prior commitments with organizations primarily located in North Carolina. For the immediate future, all speaking requests submitted must have a 90-day window before the event. Live video presentations and live in-person speaking engagements included. If you have more questions, or you would like to schedule your next event with Piedmont Trails, click on the photo.

Photo of my Great Great Grandfather, John Louis Motsinger(1865-1941)

I, personally, dedicate Piedmont Trails to my ancestors. It is because of them and their journey that has enabled me to create this. I admire their courage and share the experiences they endured during their lives. Creating Piedmont Trails has been an incredible journey for me, and I’m happy to share it with all of you.

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Enjoy Your Journey To The Past !!