Researching Land in Bertie, keep these dates in mind:
North Carolina Genesis: 17th Century Albemarle County Lindley S. Butler, Ph.D. Perquimans County Restoration Association. Hertford, N.C. On March 24, 1663, King Charles II gave his friends, the land lying in what is now Carolina.
By 1681 there was a further division, and the names reverted back to the Indian names of the areas--Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, and Perquimans.
Be sure to check Chowan County Archives for early documents. Your Bertie ancestors might have been in this area by that time! Visit the Chowan County Page and place a query for the early ancestors.
Some of the first proprietors sold their parts to other investors ie Seth Sothell (first Governor) and to the Bertie brothers (James and Henry) . About the time that the five precincts were being named (circa 1690), the Bertie brothers were influential in naming the area.
Thus, there were many more Proprietors other than the beginning ones.
Thomas Pollock1712-1714 (another term 1722)
Charles Eden 1714-1722
The Crown sought to strengthen the colony's dependence on England and placed governors, judges and other officials on salary answering ONLY to the Crown and not the electorate. North Carolina settler had become used to the "off-hand" manner of the Proprietors and resented this "control". They believed in the Carolina charter of 1663 and the colonial assembly as an independent body.
Complete list of North Carolina Governors
1732 -First "royal" Governor was George Burrington was a favorite of Bertie
Countians (although considered arbitrary and paranoid by many citizens of the state).
His chief accomplishment was clearing a road from Virginia to Cape Fear.
Running into opposition of his enforcement of Royal decrees which included the use of proclamation money (value set by the Crown), he simply dismissed the Assembly and didn't call it again for two years!
Nov 1734 - 2nd GovernorGabriel Johnston was controversial from the beginning as he
insisted on a timely payment of quitrents (taxes to the crown on all land owned). He
served for 18 years. A land grant dispute and representation controversy (1746-1754)
further caused problems.
The 5 original precincts were each allowed 5 representatives (Perquimans, Pasquotank, Currituck and Chowan). Bertie and Tyrrell were allowed 5 when they were formed, but all newer counties were allowed only 2. Two were taken from Bertie, when Northampton was formed. This gave the older precincts considerable power.
After Johnston's death in 1752, Nathaniel Rice (president of the council), followed by Matthew Rowan were acting Governors until Arthur Dobbs reached New Bern in Oct 1754.
One issue was the appointment of Justices. The Crown appointed a Chief Justice who was usually sent over from England. The NC Assembly created associate justices and made the qualification to exclude non-resident attorneys. They arranged the court days in the various counties so that the chief justice would only be able to attend 1/2 the courts!
The Assembly protested to Gov. Dobbs regarding the Sugar Act of 1764 because the tax was being levied on them without their consent.
William Tryon (1765-1771) came into office just one month before the Stamp Act which did disturb North Carolina. They actively opposed it by preventing the stamps from being landed and refused to allow the Stamp Act to be enforced. This centered in the Cape Fear area, the center of commerce, but leaders from Edenton (Bertie County was part of Edenton), New Bern and Brunswick. The act was repealed on March 18. As word spread, many towns celebrated the event. (Do you think Cashie celebrated? The courthouse wasn't moved to Windsor until after 1770)
The Assembly was so pleased they voted to erect a house for Governor Tryon...to become known as "Tryon's Palace" due to the enormous expense.
But in 1767, the Townsend Duty Act imposed a new set of taxes on lead, glass, paper and imported tea. The North Carolina Assembly seemed only mildly interested, and only on their last day opposed it due to non-representation.
Samuel Johnston and John Harvey were both opposed to the "mildness" of the protest, and supported the other colonys in their opposition to England. Public sentiment in general was intensifying and "nonimportation" measures were attempted though many merchants continued without any serious opposition.
Josiah Martin became governor in August 1771- 1775. The question of issuance of money and financial problems was the biggest issue of his term. Equally as troubling was the dissolution of the court system. Originally, British merchants, and England land owners were immune from prosecution unless it be brought in British courts. In 1768 the Assembly had changed this system against the wishes of the British, but when it expired in 1773, Gov. Martin was instructed not to sign it. Thus, North Carolina in March 1773, was left without any general courts to punish criminals.
These worsening affairs resulted in the Provincial Conventions called to replace the Assembly, which the Governor refused to convene (see below)
Bertie County Representatives (1722 - 1775) Families tended to dominate. The following examples do not include those related by marriage.
These Justices were usually the wealthier men of the county, but also were sometimes
complainted agains. The assembly in 1733 received a complaint about "oppressive
magistrates" in Bertie and Beaufort Counties.
The Sheriff collected the taxes. The Sheriff was appointed by each precinct court in the Province. To be eligible for nomination, he had to be a justice of peace of the county.
Colonial Records of North Carolina, XXIII, 122-127 Thus, the Colonial Assembly, the Justices of Peace and the Sheriff were all associated through this system of nomination and selection.
The location of the first courthouse, prison and stocks was in St. Johns (now
Hertford County). In 1741 when Northampton was formed, and a controversy as to the new
location was intense. A contract was actually issued on the south side of Stony Creek
at Joseph Barradial's plantation, but the next year, it was changed or Red Bud Branch. In 1743, the General Assembly legislated that it be between Cashie Bridge and Will's Quarter Bridge on James Castellaw's plantation on the Cashie River.
Militia and Taxable Persons 1755
BERTIE 794 Militia (no record whites/blacks) Total = 1876
CHOWAN 830 Militia (no record whites/blacks) Total = 1481
EDGECOMBE 1317 1611 whites 924 blacks Total = 2538
NORTHAMPTON 676 902 whites 834 blacks Total = 1736
Militia and Taxable Persons 1756
BERTIE 902 Militia (no record whites/blacks) Total=1876
CHOWAN 830 Militia (no record whites/blacks) Total = 1481
EDGECOMBE 1317 1674 whites 1091 blacks Total = 2765
NORTHAMPTON 676 Militia 902 whites 834 blacks Total = 1736
39 representatives from Bertie County served in the Legislature. Only 8 served more than one term.
Political Leaders of Colonial Bertie
The Justices of the Peace were appointed by the Governor and were the most
infuential in the county. They determined the jurors to decide lawsuits, created roads
and ferries, licensed taverns, appointed minor county officials, and created lists of
Be sure to read the epic poem "Legends of St. Johns" written by Major John W. Moore and published in the Windsor Ledger June 22, 1899.
Bertie County Representatives (1722 - 1775)
Families tended to dominate. The following examples do not include those related by marriage.
These Justices were usually the wealthier men of the county, but also were sometimes complainted agains. The assembly in 1733 received a complaint about "oppressive magistrates" in Bertie and Beaufort Counties.
The Sheriff collected the taxes. The Sheriff was appointed by each precinct court in the Province. To be eligible for nomination, he had to be a justice of peace of the county. Colonial Records of North Carolina, XXIII, 122-127
Thus, the Colonial Assembly, the Justices of Peace and the Sheriff were all associated through this system of nomination and selection.
The location of the first courthouse, prison and stocks was in St. Johns (now Hertford County). In 1741 when Northampton was formed, and a controversy as to the new location was intense. A contract was actually issued on the south side of Stony Creek at Joseph Barradial's plantation, but the next year, it was changed or Red Bud Branch. In 1743, the General Assembly legislated that it be between Cashie Bridge and Will's Quarter Bridge on James Castellaw's plantation on the Cashie River.
Lost Town of Cashy by Harry Thompson provides a detailed history of the locations of the early courthouses as well as information about the individuals who played important roles at this time. Be sure to read this!
BERTIE COURTHOUSE 1741 when Northampton was carved out of Bertie Co.and Hertford Co. was formed in 1754 the courthouse of 1724 was outside the boundaries of Bertie. 1743 a lease was signed for 1 acre of land for the old courthouse.1744 preparations began to move the courthouse May 10, James Castelow ( originally Barneycastle) bought one acre of land on the North side of the Cashie River and south side of Will's Quarter swamp where the courthouse, prison,and stocks were to be built. For 24 years this was the second courthouse in Bertie. 1768 the third courthouse was built and used for 111 years. Destroyed in 1887, Dec. 13 1886 Board of county commissioners asked for a bill to be drawn up for the General Assembly, bonds were issued, members of the board were chairman W.A. Capehart, Peter Rascoe, A.J. Dunning, J.B. Stokes appointed a building committee consisting of L. Thrower, J.E. Mitchell, J.B. Martin, James Bond, A.S. Rascoe. Theo Ralph contracted to build courthouse. Aaron Rascoe bought five $100.00 bonds, J.P. Johnson bought the remainder, the old coach shop was used while the court house was built
Charlotte Town Resolves - 1775 Mecklenburg N.Cc.May 31, 1775
The Halifax Resolves - April 12, 1776. "First official act of a colony calling for Independence"
[Held in defiance of Governor Martin's protest; his chair was empty. John Harvey (speaker of the lower house) was moderator. This was the first popular assembly in America called by the people and in direct disobedience to the King. Gov Martin had called a Provincial Assembly for April 4, which dissolved into the 1st Provincial Convention. ]
John Campbell represented Bertie County.
The three day session (although still professing loyalty to King George III) passed resolutions critical of the British Government, and selected William Hooper, Richard Caswell, and Joseph Hewes as delegates to the Continental Congress.
[Gov Martin thinking he could still turn things around, called a North Carolina Assembly; but John Harvey called a Provincial Congress at the same time.]
There were 67 delegates to this Provincial Congress. The following were elected to represent Bertie County.
William Gray Jonathan Jacocks Charles Jacocks William Brimmage William Bryan Zedekiah Stone Thomas Ballard Peter Clifton David Standley(justice of peace and sheriff of Bertie) John Campbell John Johnston[Committee of Safety was created
Thomas Pugh, Lieut-Colonel
James Moore, 1st Major Arthur Brown, 2nd Major
[Pledged payment of North Carolina's support for a Continental Army.
Authorized the raising of 1,000 men for two North Carolina Regiments
N.C. Regiments 1 and 2 came to the assistance of South Carolina. Later 150 militia from the Halifax District went to the aid of Virginia (Dec 9, 1775). It was reported that agents had been sent to the Albemarle region to incite the Negro slaves by promising freedom to any who joined the King's forces.
Meanwhile, Governor Martin had convinced the British that North Carolina was quite weak militarily and that there were enough Loyalists to join with British forces to secure the colony. This recruitment centered in the Cross Creek Scottish settlers.
Colonel Alexander Lillington (Wilmington District) and Colonel Richard Caswell(New Bern) called out their men - Moore's Creek Campaign.
Committee of Safety - 13 members (one elected for the Province at large by the Provincial Congress and 2 from each of the six military districts) During the recess of the Congress, this committee was the sole executive body.
Each District had its own Committee composed of a president and 12 members which reported to the Provincial Safety Committee, and supervised the local town/county Safety Committees. These local Committees examined all suspected persons, and could arrest, imprison and punish.
By fall of 1775, the "government" consisted of 934 officials:
Provincial Council = 13 members 6 District Councils = 21 members each 3 Town Councils (large) = 15 each 6 Town Councils = 7 each (Bertie was one of these) 934 officials
Council of Safety (NC) recommended the people elect 15th Oct 1776, delegates to a congress to assemble at Halifax on 12 Nov. 1776 "to make laws, form a Constitution for state.
Thomas Pugh John Johnston William Gray Noah Hinton Zedekiah Stone (Formed the State Constitution)
John Johnston Charles Jacocks Zedekiah StoneResource:THE HISTORY OF A SOUTHERN STATES, NORTH CAROLINA by Hugh Talmage Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, Chapel Hill, The University of NC Press, 1963.
Ordered that the several Justices in county shall tender the Oath of allegiance prescribed by an Act of the Assembly passed on the 9th May last  to all the Inhabitants of this county. Also that the said Justices shall attend the private musters within their district fot the purpose of administering the oath prescribed by Law to be administered to suspected persons to wit: William Bryan - Capt Rhoads Co Wm Pugh - Capt Pugh's Capt Oliver - Capt Oliver James Campbell - Capt Askiew [Colerain] Wm Cherry - Capt Wynns Zed Stone - Capt King David Standly - Capt B. Allard Jonathen Jacocks - Capt Ryan Thomas Ward - Capt Freemans Justices names are on the left -to go to the Capt District to administer the oath.
Petitions against King George III
December 1777 - Confiscation ActThis act required an oath of allegiane of all males over sixteen years of age. Those refusing to take the oath were to be proceeded against, or might be permitted to remain in the state...but deprived of their right to vote, keep arms, or leave the state without permission of the council.
Passage was 12 for and 9 against:
FOR: Elisha Battle, Benjamin Exum, Robert Summer, Ralph Gorrell, James Coor, James Sanders, Robert Salter, David Lourie, John Spicer, John Gray, A. MacLaine, and Luke Sumner.
AGAINST: Memucian Hunt, Ambrose Ramsey, John Carter, Charles McLaine, Griffith Rutherford, Benjamin Seawell, James Kenon, Charles McDowell, and Machael Rogers XII, 252.
Family of confiscated estates should retaine as much as if he died intestate. Indignet parents of absent Tories were allowed to receive as much of the estate as they had thertofore recied and as much more as would be necessary for their subsistence. XXIV 209-210.
1789 - Ratification of National ConstitutionBertie delegates: John Johnston, Francis Pugh, William J. Dawson, David Turner, and David Stone.
Further Recommended Resources:
Alan Watson,History of Bertie County
Colonial North Carolina Hugh T. Lefler and William S. Powell.
Members of General Assembly from Bertie County, from 1777 to 1850 Senators Members of House of Commons 1777 Zedekiah Stone William Jordan, Simon Turner 1778 Zedekiah Stone William Jordan, James Campbell 1779 Zedekiah Stone John Pugh Williams, Jonathan Jacocks 1780 Jon Jacocks William Horn, David Turner 1781 " " " " " " 1782 " " " " " " 1783 " " " " " " 1784 " " Zedekiah Stone, Andrew Oliver 1785 " " Thomas Collins, Andrew Oliver 1786 Zedekiah Stone Thomas Collins, Andrew Oliver 1787 John Johnston Andrew Oliver, William Horn 1788 " " William Horn, Francis Pugh 1789 " " " " " " 1790 Francis Pugh David Stone, David Turner 1791 Jasper Charlton David Stone, William J. Dawson 1792 " " David Stone, Tristam Lowther 1793 " " David Stone, John Wolfendon 1794 John Wolfendon Jonathan Jacocks, David Stone 1795 John Wolfendon Jonathan Jacocks, John Johnston 1796 Timothy Walton George Outlaw, John Johnston 1797 Francis Pugh George Outlaw, J.B. Jordan 1800 John Johnston Joseph Jordan, Thomas Fitts 1801 Jona Jacocks Henry K Peterson, Joseph Eason 1802 George Outlaw James W. Clark, Henry Peterson 1803 Henry Peterson James W. Clark, James Tunstall 1804 Joseph Jordan William Cherry, Joseph H. Bryan 1805 " " " " " " 1806 George Outlaw Prentis Law, Joseph Eason 1807 " " Joseph H. Bryan, Joseph Eason 1808 " " " " " " 1809 Joseph Jordan " ", Geo L. Ryan 1810 George Outlaw George L. Ryan, Thomas Speller 1811 " " David Stone, William Sparkman 1812 " " " ", " " 1813 " " Timothy Walton, Whit H. Pugh 1814 " " William Sparkmen, Whit. H. Pugh 1815 Wm Sparkman Wm H. Pugh, Jonathan Jacocks 1816 Wm Sparkman Simon A. Bryan, J.H. Jacocks 1817 George Outlaw Thos L. West, J.H. Jacocks 1818 Thos L. West William Hinton, Joseph Jordan 1819 Wm Hinton Geo. B. Outlaw, Simon A. Bryan 1821 George Outlaw Robert C. Watson, Thos Brickell 1822 George Outlaw Thomas Brickell, Simon A. Bryan 1823 George Outlaw James G. Mhoon, S.A. Bryan 1824 George B. Outlaw Wm H. Rascoe, J.G. Mhoon 1825 Jehu Nicholls William H. Rascoe, J.G. Mhoon 1826 Wm Gilliam J.G. Mhoon, Joseph D. White 1827 George O. Askew Thomas H. Speller, J.D. White 1828 George O. Askew Joseph Watford, Wm S. Mhoon 1829 George O. Askew Wm S. Mhoon, Alexander W. Mebane 1830 George O. Askew W.S. Mhoon, A.W. Mebane 1831 George O. Askew Lewis Thompson, David Outlaw 1832 George O. Askew David Outlaw, Thomas J. Pugh 1833 A.W. Mebane David Outlaw, Thomas J. Pugh 1834 A.W. Mebane David Outlaw, Thomas J. Pugh 1835 A.W. Mebane John F. Lee, Thomas H. Speller 1836 A.W. Mebane John F. Lee, Thomas H. Speller 1838 Wm W Cherry Lewis Bond, James R. Rayner 1840 Lewis Bond Lewis Thompson, John R. Gilliam 1842 Jas S. Mitchell James R. Rayner, John F. Lee 1844 Lewis Thompson W.W. Cherry, Lewis Bond 1846 J.R. Gilliam John N. Bond, Richard O. Britton 1848 Lewis Thompson J.B. Cherry, K. Biggs 1850 Lewis Bond J.B. Cherry, P.H. Winston
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