Friday, 3 April 2015

The Frontier Story

There is this epic point of my family history where the family members leave 'civilization' (namely....Surry, North Carolina).  It's the area or county around Mount Pilot and Mount Airy....from the Andy Griffith series.

It's a combination of two prices are escalating and crops have burnt out.  The general strategy of farmers throughout the 1600s and 1700s of the new colony in America was to plant the only two crops that made cash money.....cotton and tobacco...YEAR after YEAR.  Naturally, land nutrients shifted around and without started to notice less and less production after the fifth year of same crop usage.  Dutch farmers in more northern states knew of the issue and had several crops....which they tended to shift around on help with nutrients.  Of course, this meant a smaller profit scale but more stability.

So, the two sons of "Joseph" (1753-1829) set in motion this migration past the state line and into the wild frontier.  Joseph doesn't have a big rich history tied to himself.  At one point, he did own 200 acres of property, served with some distinction in the Revolutionary War, and had a total of two sons and two daughters.

The two sons?  "Jim" and "William".  Jim was born in 1784 and William in 1787.  Jim is my ancestor.

Jim ends up marrying Maggie Boggs, who was born in 1797.  He was roughly fourteen years old at the time.  Maggie (born in 1785) would have been twelve years old.  On the outer edge of the frontier....the age deal probably was somewhat typical at the time.

Over the next eighteen-odd years....there's only one child from this marriage.  Somewhere around 1813....Maggie passes away.  There's a decision made that year by Jim to pack up and leave for the new frontier, with his brother.  Their original target was Indiana but discovered two years into this episode that the winters were too harsh. The move from NC to Indiana....sometime around 1815.  The move to Alabama?  Around 1817/1818.

The original arrival point?  Dugout, Tennesssee.  It's a an area on Second Creek and near Lawrenceberg.  For a while, they camped out there, and then made it further south to the Whitehead area where there was a trading post of some type.  The trip ended at that point.  They both stayed on and settled in the local area.

Alabama property sales started in the 1819 period, so they likely settled and purchased property.

For all practical purposes.....these two were in the new frontier for barely a year or two....then civilization arrived (statehood).