Settlement

The British colonists who established themselves on the western edge of North Carolina almost all originated in Pennsylvania. Many began moving south in the mid-1730’s, some settling in western Maryland and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley for several years before following the Great Wagon Road to western NC as early as 1749. The settlers were drawn by inexpensive, fertile land. North Carolina was also far removed from the threat of French-allied Native American attacks until the start of the French and Indian War in 1754.

By 1755, 35 families had established themselves in what was called the Fourth Creek Settlement (present day Statesville.) These families lived along Third, Fourth, and Fifth Creeks. The descendants of many of these early settlers are still in the area today.

Settlers continued to trickle in during the French and Indian War and Anglo-Cherokee War. After the Anglo-Cherokee War was concluded in 1761, settlers began to find their way to the Fourth Creek Settlement in large numbers. By 1765, the Fourth Creek Settlement had 119 landholders living within approximately ten miles of the Fourth Creek Meeting House (established in 1756). In addition to the white settlers, there were at least eleven enslaved people of African descent in the Fourth Creek Settlement by 1765.

While most of the settlers were farmers, some skilled tradesmen can be documented. By 1765, there were three blacksmiths, a bricklayer, two carpenters, a clothier, a cooper, two cordwainers, four millers, nine planters, a reverend, a schoolmaster, a shoemaker, a silversmith, two surveyors, four tailors, and five weavers.

Click here to explore a Google Map of the settlement of western North Carolina. This map, and the following information are based on land patents which can be found in the North Carolina Land Grant Image and Data website.

Fourth Creek Settlement Property Owners 1749-1765 by Date of Land Grant
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1749
James MacIlwaine - Surveyor
William Morrison – Miller and Planter

1750
James Hannah
Henry Hendry - Schoolmaster
Henry Huey - Weaver
William Watt - Clothier

1751
Joseph Davidson – Daughter Rachel was born at Ft Dobbs on March 23, 1756.

1752
Andrew Allison - Tailor
Robert Allison
James Hall Sr
James Hemphill - Planter
Richard Lewis 
James Miller - Tailor
Andrew Morrison
James Morrison - Tailor
John Oliphant - Miller
Moses Potts
Alexander Reid 
Samuel Reid – Cordwainer.
Richard Robinson
Fergus Sloan
James Stewart - Weaver

1753
James Brandon – Miller
George Davidson
John McElwrath - Planter
Robert Simonton

1754
Henry Chambers
John McKee
Thomas Porter – Cooper

1755
Thomas Allison Sr. - Planter
William Archibald Sr. 
William Eslavin – Weaver
John Dobbins - Blacksmith
Henry Potts – Planter
Michael Robinson

1756
William Grant
Patrick Campbell

1757
Mary Armstrong
Patrick Duffey
William Giles
Thomas Hall - Weaver
William Simonton - Planter
Samuel Thornton
John Wilson
James Woods
Robert Woods – Carpenter 

1758
James King 
John Knox - Blacksmith
William Ireland – Cordwainer
Samuel Snoddy

1760
Allen Alexander
George Elliot - Blacksmith
Christopher Erwin
Thomas Gillespie
George Hall
Walter Lindsay
James Potts
William White

1761
John Archibald
Thomas Archibald
William Archibald Jr
David Black
Hugh Bowman
William Carson
Robert Cavin
Samuel Cavin
Peter Flemming
James Hall Jr – Reverend
Hugh Hall
James Mordoch
John Potts
Andrew Reid - Silversmith
Edward Roberts
William Stevenson – Tailor and Planter
Jacob Thomas - Surveyor
James Watt
Francis Wilson

1762
David Andrew
William Bowman
Jacob Crawford
George Erwin
Samuel Harris
John Leech
John Ireland
James McCullough - Bricklayer
George McDonald
James McKnight
William McKnight
Jacob Nichols
Robert Steele
James Stewart

1763
John Bickerstaff – Weaver
John Jacks – Planter
James Rosenborough

1764
William Bailey
Christopher Houston – Miller
Samuel Houston
Andrew Ferguson – Carpenter
John Nisbet II

1765
Gabriel Alexander
Adam Allison
William Beard
John Bone Sr.
William Bone
David Caldwell
Daniel Boyd
Robert Boyd
Robert Hill
James Houston 
William McClelland – Planter
James Milligan – Planter 
Patrick Morrison
James Purviance
Hugh Reed
John Rosenborough
Samuel Rosenborough
Adam Simonton
Ninian Steele
Joseph Wasson – Shoemaker