Friday, April 27, 2012

Tarheels R Us

Notes from my genealogy research:

Our pro-genitor James Buck of No. Carolina could count as an original “tar heel;” although googling that term turns up numerous claims it came into use later than 18th-century James Buck, in the Civil War era.

In any event, James and his wife, nee Penelope Newman, were married abt. 1776 in Pitt, NC, when she was 15. Some sources claim Penelope was of Huguenot ancestry, although her father immigrated from England and married her mother, Ann Webster, in NC. Of course Huguenots fled from country to country to escape the dragoons, so England is not inconsistent with the Huguenot background. Penelope’s date of birth is recorded as 4/3/1761.

At the time of their marriage, James was perhaps as old as 34. The couple, soon family, lived on the Tar River, which flows into the Pamlico and the Sound where the British Navy had an important harbor. James worked as a woodcutter, a “man of much muscular strength, and a hewer of logs, a very worthy and important trade in those early pioneer days” according to a James Buck genealogy written by one of his great-grandsons.

That area, covered by long-leaf pine forests, was a rich source of logs for ships' masts and of raw material for making tar used to caulk up the British ships. According to Wikipedia, The Tar River was "a major route for tar-laden barges as they headed to the sea."

James must have made a good living because he could afford to own four slaves that were counted in the Federal census of 1790 (may God forgive us). He and Penelope ended up having 10 children, 7 sons and 3 daughters.  The sons were named John Lavendar (our ancestor), Cornelius, Morgan, Humphrey, Wiley, Hunter, Benjamin, Wm. And Appolis, and James, Jr. (Guess that makes more than 7, oh well.) The daughters, I have figured out, were Polly, Nancy, and a third might have been also named Penelope.

James d. around 1800, and Penelope in 1807 re-married Nathaniel Blount and had 2 more children.  She died in 1823. We have no record of her muscles or occupation beyond childbearing and rearing. I like to think she enjoyed living on the water and managed to coax a garden from the sandy soil. 


Post a Comment

<< Home