In the Colonial Records of Tyrrell, Washington, Chowan, and Perquimans Counties, North Carolina

 Submitted by: Clyde Davenport < >


I would like to thank Cyde for this wonderful addition to the Davenport research.

Please remember. This information is copyrighted by Clyde Davenport and may be used for your personal research only. It may not be used for any "for profit" endeavor of any type. It may not be copied and placed on any web site. It may be linked to.

The following are excerpts taken from deeds, wills, estate actions, and court actions for the named counties during the time period 1642-1840. The information is grouped under an alphabetical list of all the Davenport names that appear in the records. For a given name, such as Isaac Davenport, all the excerpts that contain that name are listed in time order under that given name. One may easily find a given name in the alphabetical list, then can review all the records associated with that name in one place. If a record excerpt contains, say, five different Davenport names, then the same excerpt will appear in the time list for each mentioned name. This makes for some redundancy, but this is offset by the convenience of being able to go to one place to find all references in the colonial records for a given name.

These Davenport notes were excerpted from the colonial and state records and from courthouse records. "Colonial Records of North Carolina," when cited in the text, refers to ["The Colonial/State Records of North Carolina," 30 volumes, published by the State of North Carolina, 1886; reprinted by Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1993]. The abbreviation "NC Reg" means Hathaway's "North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register", a periodical of which only three volumes were printed in 1900-1903.

The abstracts documents published by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr. 114 Sixth Avenue Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868 were very helpful, as were other books and journals and courthouse records dealing with the colonial period in North Carolina.

Some preliminary notes, for help in understanding place names in the following text:

Albemarle County, North Carolina was formed in 1663 and divided into three Precincts in 1671. They are: (1) Carteret Precinct, which became Pasquotank County; (2) Berkeley Precinct, which became Perquimans County; and (3) Shaftsbury Precinct, which became Chowan County. About 1681, Carteret Precinct became Currituck and Pasquotank Precinct. Tyrrell Precinct was formed from Chowan on November 27, 1729. By 1738, precincts were called counties. Between 1671 and about 1701, Tyrrell District was a part of Perquimans Precinct. Between about 1701 and 1729, the Tyrrell District was a part of Chowan Precinct. Washington County was formed from Tyrrell County in 1799. Many of the earliest papers concerning Tyrrell County and present-day Washington County were filed in Perquimans County and Chowan County.

March 28, 1702, at the direction of the Court, a survey was made by Robert Fewox and Joseph Spruell of the lengths of the bridges along the main road West from Scuppernong River in Tyrrell District from "ye back landing att Scuppernong to Mrs Long's landing in South langister (Lancaster, from other records - Ed.)." The results, given in yards, were:
94 Outlett Swamp (first swamp behind Back Landing)
9 Rede (Reedy?) branch
225 Inden (Indian) Swamp
18 Pine Branch
65 Cypress Swamp
20 forked branch
14 deep branch
195 flatt swamp
125 deep swamp
80 thick swamp
212 Crooked Poppella (Poplar?) Swamp
80 last grate (great?) Swamp
22 last 2 branches

These place names are mentioned frequently in wills, deeds, and court actions involving the Davenports.

Bat's Grave island was shown on the Moseley map of 1733 as being prominently in the mouth of Yeopim creek. It has since disappeared, probably as the result of a hurricane.

First Landing is near the mouth of Deep Creek.

Back Landing is on the West side of the Scuppernong River, North of Columbia, at the back of the largest westward bulge of the Scuppernong.

St. Paul's Church is near Back Landing.

Outlet swamp is "the first swamp behind Back Landing."

"Potato Chaw'd Run" (with various spellings) is a branch off of the West side of the Scuppernong River in the vicinity of Back Landing.

Indian Swamp is a few miles West of Back Landing. Now known as Bunton Creek.

Indian Swamp was said to be "at the Tyrrell County line" in a document setting up school districts on April 28, 1841.

Reedy Branch, Polecat Branch, Outlet Swamp, and Gum Swamp are in the vicinity of the Indian Swamp, most likely on the East side. Cypress Swamp is just West of the Indian Swamp. The boundaries of these swamps have been significantly altered by modern-day drainage projects.

There was another Gum Swamp in the vicinity of Creswell and Mt. Tabor, mentioned in several actions "at the head of Scoupernong." Another Gum Swamp was mentioned as being adjacent to Second Branch, on the South and East side of the Scuppernong.

"At the head of Scuppernong" refers to present-day Creswell.

Flat Swamp is West of Indian Swamp and near Cypress Swamp.

Polecat Swamp adjoins the Scuppernong River; Polecat Branch empties into the Scuppernong.

Bull Bay (Bulls Bay) is the bay in front of the mouth of the Scuppernong River.

"Pocoson" means a flat, swampy, reed-filled area bounding a body of water.

Kendrick's Creek is still known by that name, today. It is near the mouth of the Roanoke River.

Present-day Mackeys is at the site of the former Mackey's Ferry between the South Shore and Edenton on the North.

In the 1850 time frame, "Cool Springs" referred to a spot near the crossing of Chapel Swamp Creek by Holly Neck Road, near present-day Skinnersville. Later, it referred to the area that is now Creswell.

"Main Dismal" refers to the swamp in the southern part of Washington County around and south of Phelps Lake. Also referred to as "Great Swamp".

The town of Columbia, in Tyrrell County, was laid out on land formerly owned by Zebedee Hassell.

The following records are included in these Notes to show the proximity of the place names.

June 24, 1704, Patent Book 1, p. 131 Edward Phelps 24 June 1704 233 acres in Chowan precinct on the W. side of Cuscopening River called the Middle Station, joining the River Pocoson and a Branch called the potato chaw'd run. /s/Robt. Daniell, Francis Tomes, Tho. Pollock, John Arderne. ["Province of North Carolina 1663-1729 - Abstracts of Land Patents," M. M. Hoffman, 1979]

Dec 10, 1712, Patent Book 1, p. 196 Captain John Pettiver, esquire 10 December 1712 337 acres on ye Cypress swamp, John Spruell's bay, and the W. side of ye Indian swamp, joining ye sd. Cypress swamp and ye Indian swamp. /s/Thos. Pollock, Thos. Boyd, N. Chevin, W. Reed, C.Gale, T. Knight. ["Province of North Carolina 1663-1729 - Abstracts of Land Patents," M. M.Hoffman, 1979]

Aug 27, 1714, Patent book 1, p. 225 Godfrey Spruile, Junior 27 August 1714 180 acres in Chowan precinct on ye W. side of Cuscopenung River, joining ye mouth of Reedy Branch, ye Indian Swamp, ye mouth of ye Pole catt branch, and ye North side of Gum branch. /s/Cha. Eden, Tho.Boyd, N. Chevin, Wm. Reed, C. Gale, Fras. Foster. ["Province of North Carolina 1663-1729 - Abstracts of Land Patents," M. M. Hoffman, 1979]

Aug 6, 1719, Patent Book 1, p. 279 Thomas Blitchendon 6 August 1719 640 acres in Chowan at the head of Scoupernung, joining Deep Runn, Laurel swamp, and the Gum swamp. /s/C. Eden, T.Pollock, Wm. Reed, Fra. Foster, Richd. Sanderson. ["Province of North Carolina 1663-1729Abstracts of Land Patents," M. M. Hoffman, 1979]

About 1720, a copy of an old map in the possession of Mrs. Loretta Phelps, Creswell, NC (Nov. 1997) lists names of families that lived along the old Davenport Road Starting at Deep Creek near the Scuppernong River and going West, they are, in order: Chesson, Lane, Swain, Skinner (near present-day Skinnersville), Long, Cushing, Roberts, Blunt, and Lee, ending at Kendrick's Creek.

The following were Tyrrell County Clerks of Superior Court:
Francis Ward 1750-1774
T. Mackey 1775-1790
Charles Spruill 1790-1813

The following Davenport notes cover primarily the period 1642-1800, with some into the early part of the 1800s. The thinking behind this decision is that there are reasonably good records, particularly the census records and deeds and wills in the courthouses, that should allow most researchers to trace back to 1800, hence tie into the material as given below. The vast bulk of records from 1800 on makes the present kind of compilation not feasible.


 Index of Names

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