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BML Web Site: Tar River Connections

Public Web Site

Memberships and Meetings

Membership in the Society is from January 1st to December 31st.  This includes the newsletter The Connector which is published biannually. Dues are $15 for a color email copy or $20 for a black & white hard copy.

The Tar River Connections Genealogical Society meets on the 3rd Tuesday of January, May, and October, at the Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, NC at 6:30 PM.Guests are always welcome.

To become a member and receive the newsletter, send a check  to: Tar River Connections, PO Box 8764, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

Tar River Connections Genealogical Society

Preserving the Past...For the Future

Local Families / Local History

We are interested in preserving the history and genealogy for the counties of Person, Vance, Granville, Franklin, Nash, Edgecombe, Pitt, Beaufort, Warren, Halifax and Wilson which are the northeastern North Carolina counties through which the Tar River and feeder creeks flow. Learn about the history of your family, the area they lived, and what resources are available by joining us at our meetings held at 6:30 pm on the third Tuesday of January, May, and October at Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, NC.

For more information about Tar River Connections, write to:

Tar River Connections
PO Box 8764
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Tar River Basin Precincts and Counties

The area of present-day North Carolina was included in several English grants and charters beginning in 1578. In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh made his first attempt to form settlement on Roanoke Island but the settlers returned to England in 1586. A second expedition came to Roanoke Island in 1587. John White, the governor, returned to England for supplies and when he returned in 1590, the colony had disappeared. Gradual settlement continued as early inhabitants of southern Virginia areas, and later, New England, drifted down into North Carolina to explore, trade, hunt, and trap. The area was hospitable with its temperate climate, its several navigable waterways, and its fertile land.

The first North Carolina County was Albemarle which originated in 1663 when Charles II issued a charter granting Carolina to eight of his friends: John Berkeley, Sir William Berkeley, Sir George Carteret, Sir John Colleton, Anthony Ashley Cooper, William Craven, Edward Hyde, and George Monck. The original charter included the area from Virginia to Florida (between 31o and 36o north latitude). By the end of that year, Albemarle County had been formed including settlements on the Chowan River and the Albemarle Sound and extending forty miles to the east and north. When it was discovered that the original charter did not include the majority of the settlers to the north, a second charter was issued in 1665 extending the territory one-half degree north, which was about 35 miles, and two degrees to the south.

The final formation of the 100 counties that make up present day North Carolina involved many complex boundary changes. A researcher is well advised to search adjoining counties if the desired information is not found in the expected county. Moving from east to west, the development of the eight counties comprising the Tar River/Pamlico Basin is briefly outlined below:

       •Beaufort Precinct (County) came into existence about 1712 when the name of Pam(p)tecough Precinct was changed to Beaufort Precinct. Pam(p)tecough was the original colonial spelling of Pamlico. Originally, the county took in only the north side of the Pamlico River and extended west into the area that later became Pitt County. By 1760, it was similar in size and shape to the modern Beaufort County, encompassing both sides of the Pamlico.

       •Pitt County was formed in 1760 from Beaufort County. •Edgecombe Precinct (County) was first formed about 1732 from Bertie Precinct. It was one of seven precincts on Albemarle County's List of Arrears of Quit Rents in 1735. However, the official beginning of the county was 1741.

       •Nash County was formed in 1777 from Edgecombe County.

       •Franklin County was formed in 1779 when Bute County was abolished and the counties of Franklin and Warren were formed from it. Bute County was formed from Granville County in 1764 and it was only in existence for the fifteen year period between 1764 and 1779.

       •Vance County was carved out of Franklin, Granville and Warren Counties in 1881.

       •Granville County was formed from Edgecombe County in 1746.

       •Person County was originally included in Caswell County and was formed in 1791. •Wilson County became a county in 1855 from portions of Nash, Edgecombe, Johnston and Wayne.

       •Halifax County created from Edgecombe County in 1758.

Newsletter: The Connector

Tar River Connections publishes 4 issues of its newsletter, The Connector, per year. Each issue is packed with historical and genealogical information significant to the Tar River Basin. Our past newsletters have been indexed to help in your genealogical search.

Stories From The Connector

Riding the Rails in Edgecombe
Nash Co. Swamps and Creeks
18th Century Masons Along the Tar River
St. Lewis, Gone But Not Forgotten
E. B. Hilliard Letter
They Pledged Their Lives for Independence
Women—The Good Old Days?
Growing up on Pig Basket Creek and in Turkey Swamp
Potts Cheats Gallows
Revolutionary War Soldier of Fortune—John Searcy
The Home Guard—1863-1865
Green Path—Indian Trail
Peachtree Missionary Baptist Church
Watch Out for Buffalo!
How I Kept House during the War
Heinous Crime in Franklin County
Early Mail Delivery
Camp Fires of the Boys in Gray
Fearless Aunt Abby
Crown Sympathizers' Meeting House
Friends Movement [Quakerism]—Eastern North Carolina
Christmas in Warrenton—Early 20th Century Inventor
Search and Research—Handwritten Records
18th and Early 19th Century Architecture
Free School in Beaufort
SC Governor Alston's Wife Lost at Sea
North Carolina—A Foreign Power?
Sharpsburg [NC]
One Eyed Ancestor? Was He a Fighter?
Five Generations at the Mill
Dortch House
1st Royal Governor
Church Burns, Suspect Skips Bond
An Edgecombe Oddity, Coll Miliken's Estate
Practical 1885 Housewifery
Storm Clouds Gather, Regulator Movement in NC
Colonial Monetary System in NC
Anne Carter Lee, Fair Maid of Arlington
Conoconara Church
Mining in Person County
Sir Archie—Fastest Horse of His Time
Confederate Imprints
P.T. Barnum—Prince of Humbug—In Rocky Mount
The Yeargins—Spring Hope Entrepreneurs
Cotton Market
An early Interstate? The Great Trading Path
Geo. Washington's Southern Tour
Search and Research—Taxes in Colonial NC
Natural and Artificial Curiosity Tax?
Coley Town, Nash Co., NC
Tragedy Averted
The Sport of Kings
Revolutionary War Fire Lit in Franklin Co.
Is the Devil Good?
The Unique Tomb of William Andrew Jeffreys
They Called it Helmira
The Crossroads Store
Trevathan House
Wilson Female Academy
Lost Treasure
Regrets to Tarboro
The Assassin's Bullet—Gen. Bryan Grimes Shot to Death from Ambush
Teaching a Buzzard New Tricks? Hilliard Thomas of Edgecombe Gives it a Try
The Forks of the Tar (Now Washington, NC)
Edenton Tea Party—1774
The Skirmish at Daniels School House
Continental Veteran Seeks Payment—1780
Tar River Bridges in Nash—As shown on old map
Church Sets Standards of Morality
Demon Rum
History of Rocky Mount
Wounded Franklin Rifleman Recuperates in Petersburg
Pitt, Edgecombe and Nash Counties in Dire Straits—Mrs. Atkinson Pleads for Help
The Gourd Patch Conspiracy
The Franklin Rifles
Rev. Morgan Edwards Visits Tar River Falls in 1772-73
Baptist, Did You Say?—Letter from Rosa Nash
Potter's Raid on Grenville, Tarboro, and Rocky Mount
Robert Potter: 1820's Halifax, Granville Politician—Pistol, knives, cudgels...
That Famous Nash Brandy
The Wages of Sin—or Who's Got the Whiskey
Historic Preservation: John Duke/Mohn Lawrence House
A Look at Main Street—Rocky Mount, Early 1900's
Josiah Vick's Account Book: Cotton Transactions, 1842-1844
Blackbeard: Tar River Connection?
Dukes of Durham
1875 Obituary of Dr. J.D. Matthews—Halifax Mourns
Melungeons—Heritage Puzzle
Tar and Turpentine
First at Bethel
Marks Tragedy Recorded in Bible
Wedding Bells
Dressing the Corpse—Memories of Hope Plantation
How's the Coffee?—An 1837 Sulky Ride
Give me Franklin, or I'll Give you Death
South Bound Home Run
Could You Shoot a Few Holes in My Hat?
Tories Attack Drake Homeplace
Last Public Hanging in Nash County
Isle of Wight, VA: Home of Many Tar River Ancestors

Lists From The Connector

Roster of Tar River Masons in the 18th Century
Pitt County War Marriages—12 Apr 1861 - 9 Apr 1865
NC Confederate Home Guard Examinations, 1863 - 64
Granville County Patriots of the Revolution
Granville Co. Deeds Along the Tar River— 1766-1772
The University School
Early Pitt Co. Post Offices and First Postmasters
Bennett Bunn Estate Sale
John Newton Taylor Cemetery
Letters Remaining in PO at Halifax, 2 Apr 1794
Early Beaufort Co. Law Enforcement
Property Confiscated, Sold by State—1786
List of Nash Co. Peddlers, Merchants and Retailers
Men from "Gnash" County Present at Kingstown, March 26, 1780
Granville County Taxpayers—1788
First Settlers on the Tar River
Pittman/Denton Cemetery, Edgecombe Co., NC
NC Petitions for Presidential Pardon, 1875-1868
Legal Name Changes
Marriages—At the Poor House and At Argo
The Courthouse Bible
The Falls of the Tar Primitive Baptist Church—Membership,1757-1876 (4 Issues)
Mann-Arrington Gold Mine Co. Payroll
Nash Co. Liquor Licenses—1778-1830
Census of Pensioners
and many more.....

Family Bibles Along North Carolina's Tar River

Members of Tar River Genealogical Society collected  Bible information and it was published by Timothy Rackley.  This book is currently out of print, however, if you would like a copy of a particular family bible or of the entire collection, contact us for copy fee information.

Henry B. & Sarah F. Cooper Barnes

Embro & Isley Matthews Bass

Wright S. & Sallie Ann Ward Batchelor

C.S. and Orela L. King Beaty

John A. Beaty

Alfred J. & Catherine Jane Colvin Bloodworth

James A. & Mary E. Marshall Bobbitt

James R. & Mary E. Dunn Boseman

John H. Boseman

Lillie Blanche Hunt Bryant

David L. & Harriet A. Barnes Bunn

J.D. & Sallie B. Matthews Bunn

Junie Floyd & Easter Belle Whitley Bunn

Courthouse Bible

Exum L. & Nancy Fort Curl

John & Ollif Davenport

George W. & "Maggie" White Deatherage

William J. & Mary Ann Drake

Arnold E. & Alice Anna Joyner Edwards

Lemon G. & Jennie E. Brannan Edwards

Raymond W. & Mary Lee Bobbitt Edwards

Ansel Ferrell

James Henry & Elizabeth J. Hester Frazier

Charles H. & Nancy Belle Lightsey Gore

Daniel & Martha Gurganus

Joseph H. & Emma Hill Hamm

Nicholas & Judith Campbell Howard

Moses Joiner

I.W. Emerson & Rebecca A.D. Jackson Joyner

Joab & Aly Lee

Kemp Plummer & Nannie J. Cooper Leonard

Joel W. & Lucy T. Collins Lucas

J.C. & Elizabeth W. Southall Marks

James C. & Rosena Ann McWilliams Marks

Thomas H. & Martha Aquilla Bass Matthews

Hilliard F.M. & Mary Lucy Stallings Matthews

James H. & Mary Elizabeth Howard Newman

Elisha & Ann Evans Norfleet

William Alsey & Mary (Pollie) Parrish

Zachariah A. & Mary Alice Lucas Parrish

William E. & Lillie G. Pittman Peacock

H. Walter & Claudia E. Starr Phelps

John R. & Mary Pitt

Dr. N.J. & Mary A. Streeter Pittman

Christopher C. & Vessie L.Viverette Pridgen

Absalum and Anza Lany Moore Proctor, Jr

Francis & Martha Ann Whitley Rackley

David Barnes & Martha Vick Ricks

William Joseph & Sallie Ann Walker Starr

George W. & Lura A. Ricks Strickland

John L. & Sarah C. Glisson Tew

Jordan W. & Nancy W. Manning Vester

Benjamin H. & Sallie Ann Rackley Vester

James M. & Sallie Walker

Amos & Nancy Walston

W.F. & Louisa Pitt Walston

G.W. & Poly Ward

Willis & Marget Ward

Willis & Lucy Ward

Asa G.& Hattie B. Jones Wells

James D. & Charlotte Ricks Whitley

John W. & Sallie A.T. Matthews Whitley

B.J. & Sarah P. Williams

Ezekiel Z. & Drucilla J. Hale Works

Falls of the Tar Primitive Baptist Church

Falls of the Tar Primitive Baptist Church in Rocky Mount was founded in 1757. Below is a partial list of members from 1757 to 1777.

Owen Kelly

Rebecca Harrel

William Horn

Jane Borden

Ann O'Neal

Martha Sikes

George Harrel

Henry Hart

Emmanuel Skinner

John Barnes

Mary Jordan

Elizabeth Whitington

Robert Portis

John Gordon

Sarah Barnes

Charity Wimberly

James Wiggins

Dempsy Taylor

Elizabeth Battle

Millie Andrews

Elizabeth Wiggins

Judith Pitman

Sarah Hilliard

Benjamin Barnes

Joel Wiggins

Wm McLemore

Mary Brady

Henry Horn, Jr.

Robert Allen

Elizabeth Thomas

Sarah McLemore

Ann Bridgers

Rachel Inman

Elijah Revel

Philip Thomas

Wright McLemore

Elizabeth Belsher

John Tanner

Keziah Moore

James Thomas

Sarah McLemore,Jr

Rebecca Harrel

Mary Johnston

Elizabeth Moore

Winifred Wiggins

Sarah Pitman, Sr

Jacob Barnes

John Johnston

TRC Projects

Church Records

Tar River Connections has begun collecting records of churches of all denominations throughout the Tar River Basin. We are especially interested in the the beginnings of the church and the charter and very early members. If you have such information, we would appreciate it if you would share it with us.


Members of the Tar River Connections Genealogical Society have assembled a list of surnames for which members have information. The list includes the surname, the state(s) and county(ies) for which information has been found, and the Tar River Connections member(s) who have the information.

This list, which is updated regularly, is available to members.

Edwards Marriages Abstracted From Nash County Courthouse Records

EDWARDS Marriages in Nash County from 1814 to1919 includes date of marriage, names of bride, groom and parents (over 200 marriages). Some of the surnames included in this list are: Baker, Bass, Batchelor, Griffin, Joyner, Powell, Strickland, Viverette and Winstead (to name a few). This list was originally compiled by TRC Member Helen Sharpe and is available by: