Saturday, August 27, 2011

Womacks in Orange County, North Carolina

From Register of Orange County, North Carolina Deeds, 1752-1768, and 1793, transcribed by Eve B. Weeks.

Blogger is not so good at displaying my HTML table, so you may have to scroll way down the page to see it.

The story of early Orange Co, NC deeds is interesting. Orange Co, NC was formed in 1752. Womacks first appear in the later 1750s. For Womack research, we are only interested in Orange Co up until 1777, when Caswell Co was formed from Orange.

Much later, Jacob Pryor Womack and wife Ann "Nancy" Faddis would live in Orange Co, NC. Also, there was a Warnock family living in Orange Co which is sometimes confused with Womack; James Warnock (married to Margaret "Peggy" Bradford) was mistakenly listed in the 1810 Census of Orange as James Womack.

The Womacks in Orange Co, NC lived in the northern half of Orange which became Caswell in 1777. Richard Womack III and his descendants lived in the northeast area which became Person Co, NC in 1792. To the east was Granville Co, NC, where some of Richard's descendants have records.

Abraham Womack and his wife Elizabeth Stubblefield lived on Hogans Creek, in the northwest corner of Orange, very near the western border of Orange. On the other side of that border, to the west, was Rowan Co, until 1770 when Guilford Co was formed, then Rockingham, formed from Guilford in 1785. Abraham Womack (husband of Elizabeth Stubblefield) and his descendants have records in early Guilford Co, NC, and later in Rockingham Co, NC.

There is some confusion between the two Womack groups in early Orange/Caswell, since David Womack (son of John, son of Richard III) moved before 1810 from Person Co, NC to western Caswell, very near the Abraham Womack/Elizabeth Stubblefield clan. When David Womack died, his land was surveyed by Josiah Womack, who was the surveyor for Caswell Co at the time. This has led many to jump to the conclusion that Josiah was David's brother. However, it is well established that Josiah was the son of Abraham Womack & Elizabeth Stubblefield - he was named as Abraham's son and executor in his will, for one thing.

Near the end of the Revolutionary War, in 1781, a Loyalist named James Munro, whose property and business papers has been confiscated, took most of the Orange Co, NC deed books up to that point, and buried them, to use as ransom to get his possessions back. Some sources say the deed books just rotted in the ground, but others say they were found and dug up, heavily damaged. However, if they had been copied at that moment, more would have been saved. Instead, the county procrastinated for many years, before finally hiring a clerk to copy those deeds that were not too far gone.

Thus, the Orange Co, NC deeds from 1752-1781 were mostly destroyed. The remaining deeds (as I understand the story) are in three books.: Deed Book 1, which is the one volume of deeds from 1755-1756 that James Munro did not bury; Deed Book 2, which contains deed which were brought in for re-recording; and Deed Book 3, which contains the deeds which were buried, but were not too far gone to copy. There are a couple of mentions of Womacks in Deed Book 3.

Luckliy, there is another record that somewhat fills the gap. An Orange Co, NC clerk made a ledger of deeds from 1752-1768, with same basic information, such as grantor, grantee, etc. This ledger is in the NC Archives. That narrows the gap to 1768-1777 (when Caswell was formed), and there must have been some Womack deeds in that period, since they are mentioned in later records.

Some notes on the ledger entries

Most of the Womacks mentioned below were the Richard Womack III clan. He is mentioned, as well as his sons Jacob and Abraham. These records refer to two different Abraham Womacks.

The deed of Robert Stubblefield to Abraham Womack refers to Abraham married to Elizabeth Stubblefield (Robert's daughter). The same court session, the deed from Robert Stubblefield to his son Richard was also recorded, and I copied that entry as well. Note that Wyatt Stubblefield witnessed both deeds. In 1816, both Richard and Wyatt Stubblefield deposed for Josiah Womack's claim on the estate of his great-uncle, William Womack of Charlotte Co, VA. Note also, that in Caswell Co, NC Deed Book CC, p.64, Josiah Womack sold 300 acres on Hogans Creek, and the deed says the land was made up of two deeds from Robert Stubblefield to Abraham Womack, and a grant from the state of NC to Abraham Womack.

All the other mentions of Abraham Womack in the ledger below were Abraham Womack, son of Richard III. This Abraham purchased 166 acres from Thomas Douglass, and 205 acres from John Tabor (who was possibly the son of a Rachel Womack from a different Womack line, though that is a different story).

The 166 acres Abraham purchased from Thomas Douglass was almost certainly part of a 266 acres Lord Granville patent to Thomas Douglas (patent book 14, p.385) dated 7 Jun 1761, for 266 acres in Orange Co on Hico Creek, adjoining John Pryor and others. Hico Creek flows from eastern Caswell into northwest Person Co, NC, very near Halifax Co, VA, where Abraham married his second wife, Martha Watkins. John Pryor was the father-in-law of both David Womack, and John Womack, Abraham's brothers. There is no surviving record of when Abraham sold the 166 acre tract.

The 205 acres that Abraham purchased from John Tabor was later sold by Abraham in 1772. This is one of the 2 0r 3 mentions of Womacks in Orange Co, NC deeds before 1781. Orange Co, NC Deed Book 3, p.483, dated 30 Mar 1772, Abraham Womack of Orange to Alexander Davison of same, 205 acres, W side of May Creek {sic, Mayo Creek in modern NE Person Co, NC}, on Thomas King's line, formerly Philip Pryor's. Again, we have the Pryor connection.

Court Grantor Grantee Acres Type of Deed Witness
14 Aug 1759 Hugh Barnett Richard Womack 200 Sale Acknowledged
14 May 1764 Richard Wamack William Hawkins 189 Sale Jacob Womack
13 Nov 1764 Hosea Tapley Thomas Wilson Jr 195 Sale Jacob Womack
13 Aug 1765 Robert Stublefield Abraham Womach 150 Sale Wyatt Stubblefield
13 Aug 1765 Robert Stubblefield Richard Stubblefield 150 Sale Wyatt Stubblefield
12 Nov 1765 Thomas Douglass Abraham Womack 166 Sale Jeremiah Harrison
12 May 1767 John Tabor Abraham Womack 205 Sale George Flynn
12 May 1767 Hosea Tapley John Pryor 201 Sale Acknowledged by Hosea Tapley
12 May 1767 John Payne John Payne ? 380 Sale Abraham Womack
12 May 1767 John Tabor Issac Jackson 200 Sale Abraham Womack

1 comment:

John Womack said...

I believe these people are related to my grandfather James Robert Womack, his father was Jim married to a Morgan till her death around 1905. John Womack