“Road, Bridge, Ferry, and Mill Records – Another Genealogist treasure” – May 5, 2010

By , May 3, 2010

This D-OGS Meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, 5 May, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Orange County Public Library on 137 West Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. Here is a map

The program will be presented by D-OGS member and author Stewart Dunaway. His program will be “Road, Bridge, Ferry, and Mill Records – Another Genealogist treasure”. These county records (located at the State Archives) contain amazing information about families and their locations. These records are now being cataloged and indexed by Stewart Dunaway, allowing easy access to these valuable county records. His talk will include a brief overview of how infrastructure laws evolved from British Rule to early American expansion. Using old Orange County records to illustrate this evolution, Stewart will also show examples of genealogy oriented information, not just trade route or other historical information. Included in these records are law suits which can include amazingly detailed information as well.

6 Responses to ““Road, Bridge, Ferry, and Mill Records – Another Genealogist treasure” – May 5, 2010”

  1. Susan Schilling says:

    I have an ancestor that is recorded to have add a grist mill in orange county on the Eno River. I can’t find much about it and was hoping his name might be in the information you have. His name was Henry Neal. Thanks, Susan Schilling

  2. My records tend to be for those petitioning for a new mill, and maybe he purchased an existing (operating) mill. I do not show a mill on the Eno for this last name in the court minutes nor in a petition. Searching the Road and Bridge Records for Orange, I located a Robert (1787) and James (1792) Neal. No other Neal appears in these records. Next time I’m in the deed office I will see what they show. DO you have a rough time-period of ownership??

  3. Orange county deed records tell more of the story. On Jan 8, 1814 Henry Neal and partner James Jackson pay for the adjoining land that was condemened for the mill pond. It was land of Thomas Ruffin and Levi Jackson. This dates the mills beginning. The one deed of Levi Jackson provides more information, – mill for grinding of grist corn, wheat and other grain and manufacture wheat and flour on the river Eno. Then on May 25, 1818 Henry Neal and James Jackson sell the mill and land to John Scott of Hillsboro for 100 pounds. Then on May 26, 1818 in another deed John Scott sells the mill for 100 pounds to Henry Neal. It appears this was a means of paying off his partner, I guess. On May 27, 1824 Henry Neal is in trouble – DEBT. He owes, $642.85 to Jonathan Sneed and Co, and $330.14 to William Kirkland and $1760 to Bank of Cape Fear – Hillsboro branch. So he provides all his land and mill as collateral. THEN on May 27, 1824 a deed states that James Neal is deceased and they sell the land and mill. James Webb and William Miller buy the land and mill in two deeds for $500 each a total of $1000. Then on Feb 26, 1830 William Miller is indebted to James Webb for $1000 and signs over his half of the mill for $1 to settle the debt. James Webb runs the mill until his sells it to J. J. Freeland on Apri 4, 1836 for $2500. Freeland has so many records – I ran out of time seeing who he sells it to. – Hope this helps. Stewart Dunaway

  4. I forgot to mention- Henry Neal and his land that was indebted included five negro slaves, per the deed, and the total land was 370 acres, which consisted of two tracts, the mill tract and one called the – Carson Tract. This was in deed book 21 page 60 in 1824. When the mill is sold to Webb the mill tract included 20 acres of land. – Stewart

  5. Susan Schilling says:

    Thank you so much for you replies. This is a lot more information than I was able to get. I do know that Henry Neal dies by 1826. I always wondering why James Webb was the one who took care of the sale of the land etc. I see now that Henry was in debt to him. I was wondering because I know some of the mills are still there on the Eno. I was hoping to find out where this piece of land was so I could go visit. Robert Neal the Man you mentioned was Henry’s father. I believe that James Neal was Robert’s brother, but I think James had a son named James as well, so it’s hard to tell. Thanks for the information. Every piece of information is important to me. I guess Henry fell on some hard times. His wife Lydia and children is who I am looking for. They disappeared as far as I can tell from the records after Henry’s death. James Webb has papers at University of North Carolina which deal with selling of some land Henry had owned in TN. I am going to go up soon and see if these papers can give me any clues about his child. What I am trying to do is to find out for sure if my ancestor Thomas Jefferson Neal is his son. This is my working theory, but the time period of 1825-1870 seems to be hard to research in Orange County. I can’t find that many records that have been indexed and published. If you find anything else I would love to hear. Thanks,

  6. First to clarify one point. He was not in debt to Webb. The debtors were listed in the deed – Sneed, Kirkland, and the Bank. Webb comes along and bids for the land on the courthouse steps. When I looked at Webb land purchases in the deed office – WOW. There are pages and pages of purchases. There were so many mills on the Eno, I do not recognize this one – at this name/date. However, I have asked a fellow historian if he recognized the owners and a particular creek name that was listed in the deed.
    I have been in the Webb papers before, with Dr. Burke research. He was a wealthy doctor and had the means to buy land. It is interesting to see that he has Neal letters, so this should help you. You will NOTE that he was an AGENT for the Cape Fear Bank – which Neal was indebted to – the most. Maybe this is what really happened – the “bank:” bought the property – so to speak. Please post what you find! – I will as well.

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