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New Info in the 1792-1801 section of the William Ewing Chapter

Hi folks, I just finished a trip to the Carolinas, Columbia SC and Raleigh NC to work in the state archives for each. My goal was to prove or disprove a family story that our family came through North Carolina and Abbeville SC to get to Georgia. I will call my result a successful failure because there was no paper-trail for my William in either state, but I learned a great deal about the Great Wagon Road, which includes the Great Valley Road, the Shenandoah Road, and the Carolina Road. It once ended at the Yadkin River in North Carolina according to a 1775 map, but over time as more and more settlers pored down the road into new territory, it naturally extended, and over time it terminated at Augusta Georgia on the Savannah River. The interesting thing here is how it possibly muddles our story, because Augusta was not only the terminus for the primary land route to Georgia, but also for the sea route. People could opt to travel by ship from either Baltimore, New Castle, or Philadelphia down the coast to the Savannah River, and up the river as far as it was navigable to Augusta. Many did this, but unfortunately few ships lists exist. So which did we do? I don't know. I tend to lean toward the family story that says we came over land, but we have no proof and may never get proof because people left Maryland and Pennsylvania and came straight down The Great Wagon Road until it ended, spilling out into newly available land. I found no evidence of any settlers stopping along the way for a year or so to grow a crop... unless they were sharecropping and left no paper-trail. Those that stopped and bought land, settled for a while before moving again, but the vast majority appears to have travelled down the road until they could go no further to get to the new land. I believe that is what my William Ewing did before marrying Hannah Whaley. I'll continue plugging away on this until I get better evidence, but until then we at least know more about how the road worked.

I did find a copy of the deed where Ignatius Few bought Franklin County land from John Bender in 1788. The location eventually became Jackson County and includes the land sold to our William Ewing. I still do not have the deed from Ignatius Few to William Ewing though. I'm still looking. Until then, all we have is William Ewing paying Tax on third-quality land acquired by "Few". Looking at deeds in the Jackson County area of William's land, it was indeed Ignatius who was selling the land. I may be making another trip to the Georgia State Archives to see if I overlooked the deed in Franklin County. That would at least give me a firm arrival time, and it may even have other useful information, not likely but you never know.

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