Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Carolina Cradle


Ramsey, Robert W. Carolina Cradle: Settlement of the Northwest Carolina Frontier, 1747-1762. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964.

Have you ever put off reading a book, and you aren't exactly sure why? I love reading about history. North Carolina history is one of my favorite states in which to research. I've reads lots of books on North Carolina's history. I've known about this book for years and knew it was highly recommended. I even checked it out of my library once and didn't get around to reading it.

Last month was my "Thingaversary" on LibraryThing. It's a tradition for people to celebrate the anniversary of the date they joined LibraryThing by purchasing one book for each year a member and one to grow up. Since it was my 9th "Thingaversary," I was entitled to ten books. I'm definitely out of space on my shelves at home so I decided e-books would be the way to go this year. I decided to purchase only books that were not available at the local library fiction-wise and for the nonfiction books, I wanted books that I wanted to add to my permanent collection but for which I lacked space. My reading tastes are diverse so I decided my purchases should be also. I had a historical fiction title, a mystery, a cookbook, a Garfield book with "best of" Sunday cartoons, three religious non-fiction volumes I could use devotionally, and three North Carolina history books, including Carolina Cradle, in my purchases.

For the history reading, I decided to start with Ramsey's book. Almost from the moment I began reading it, I began scolding myself for not reading it sooner.

Ramsey examined the settlement of the Yadkin Valley area in North Carolina, especially what was early Rowan County. Rowan was formed from the northern part of Anson County in 1753. Researchers, of course, know that many counties were formed from Rowan County, so the area at one time included much of what is now known as the Piedmont area. Many of the early settlers came from Eastern Pennsylvania, especially Berks, Lancaster, and Chester Counties. A few other counties in Pennsylvania and some in Maryland also contributed to settlement of the Yadkin Valley.

Ramsey looked at records and manuscripts in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina in his study and provided a rich treasure for family historians in doing so. While none of my researched North Carolina ancestors were included, I recognized names of associates and even some names which could be the common name ancestors I need to find time to research.

Ramsey discussed the European origins and religions of those who settled the area also.

Although Ramsey wrote the book over fifty years ago, it is still a rich treasure for historians and genealogists alike and is highly readable. My biggest regret is that I did not read this one sooner.

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