Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Part of Me came to North Carolina 250 Years Ago

For 20 years, I’ve been telling people that when I was recruited to help start a destination marketing organization or community marketing agency in Durham NC, it was my first time in the Southeast, other than stops in Washington D.C. or changing planes in Miami or Atlanta.

But this weekend while doing family genealogy, I learned that isn’t true. Part of my genetic make-up came from North Carolina in the mid 1700’s, maybe earlier. My Great Great Grandmother Amanda Graham’s Great Grandmother Martha Miller in fact was born in Orange County, North Carolina on Christmas Day. I’m not sure how much earlier her father, David Miller, had arrived but he was born in South Carolina.

Now Orange County at that time was one of only a handful of counties in a Colony that covered North Carolina and stretched into what is now Tennessee. Orange County covered a vast part of North Carolina then, everything from Rowan County to Johnston County. So I’m not sure yet, but Durham was part of Orange then and maybe her parents lived here then.

Also, my Great Great Great and Great Great Great Great Grandparents in that same line, James McCrory and Thomas McCrory, emigrated from Northern Ireland in 1775 and settled in North Carolina, one in Guilford and the other in Mecklenburg counties which today are anchored by the cities of Greensboro and Charlotte.

Immediately after arriving Thomas and James volunteered in the Continental Army, Thomas became a captain in the 9th Regiment of the North Carolina Line and James an Ensign and at Valley Forge, a member of George Washington’s life guard. Thomas died in 1779 during the war but I’m not sure where. I just know he fought in battles like Brandywine and Germantown and was buried in Mecklenburg County as was his wife, Hannah Crawford a decade later.

James fought in several battles in North and South Carolina including decisive engagements at Cow Pens and Guilford Courthouse. He later moved to Tennessee and then Tuscaloosa on the far side of Alabama.

So I guess North Carolina is more than my adopted home…it's been my home for many generations… I could be more North Carolinian than many natives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am researching the Thomas and James McCrory family history and was wondering if you could share any information with me? My great grandfather was Lafayette "Fate" McCrory.

email: ncdolphin66@embarqmail.com