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Bertie County Research Information

County Coordinator



Bertie County was formed in 1722 from Chowan County.


Information donated by Linda at
Native American History and Research
Bertie County, North Carolina
History of the Tuscarora

The ancestral home of the Tuscarora Indian Nation was centered in the northeastern part of North Carolina. 
Visit The Southern Band Tuscarora Indian Tribe Web page ( for a more complete Tuscarora history and to see the variety of villages---hemp gatherers; people of the pines; people of the water. In 1701 John Lawson, Surveyor General, identified 15 major Tuscarora towns living along the waterways throughout North Carolina. 

Also visit Tuscarora in North Carolina Web Page. Another nice collection of information can be found at NATIVE WEB Wonderful Resources for Indigenous Cultures around the World!

*Note the two very different uses of the terms Southern and Northern. Originally the Southern Tribes referred to those tribes south of Pamlico; the Northern Tribes were those between the Roanoke and Pamlico Rivers. When the Tuscarora moved north to New York state, the term "Southern Tribes" changed it's meaning and referred to those Tuscarora Tribes that remained in N.C. in contrast to the "Northern Band" living in N.Y. near Lewiston, Niagra County. 

When the first settlers arrived in Bertie County, they settled along the Chowan River building their plantations and Mosely's early map shows the Indian tribes already relocated to the Roanoke River along Bertie's southern border. 
White encroachment into their territory was the source of conflict between the Tuscarora and these settlers. For the most part, the Bertie County villages were under the leadership of Chief Tom Blunt (between the Roanoke and Pamlico Rivers) and were friendly to the colonists. 

The Chief of the Tuscarora was a close friend and neighbor of the Blount family of Bertie. He admired the family so much that he was baptized as "Tom Blount" taking their name. On September, 1711 when the Tuscarora War started, Tom Blount refused to allow his people to take sides in it, warned the southern branch not to bring it into his territory, and actually posted sentries to prevent any other tribe from entering Bertie. 

As a reward for his loyalty to the settlers, at the defeat of the southern band of Tuscarora under Chief Hancock, Blount was acceeded by the Legislature the title of "King of the Tuscarora" and awarded 56,000 acres on the Roanoke River in Bertie as a reservation.. "In perpeturity, so long as the sun doth shine. Sadly this did not hold true. 

Chief John Hancock and his villages near the Neuse River felt continually pressured as New Bern grew. There was raiding of Tuscarora villages, kidnapping young men and women and selling them into slavery. 


Information donated by Linda at:
1766 - Tuscarora Land Lease (Bertie County Reservation)


Allen, James

Baskett, Billy

Baskett, Thomas

Blount, Billy

Blount, George

Blount, Thomas

Bridgers, Harry Samuel

Cain, Billy

Cain, John

Captain Toe

Charley, Wineoak

Cornelius, Billy

Cornelius, Charles

Dennis, Billy

George, Billy

George, Snip Nose

Hewit, Thomas

Jack, Tom

Lightwood, John

Miller, Isaac

Mitchell, Billy

Mitchell, James

Netop, Billy

Owen, Billy


Pugh, William

Roberts, Billy

Rogers, John

Senaca, John

Senaca, Thomas

Sockey, Billy

Taylor, William

Tuffdick, Lewis

Walker, John

Wiggins, John





Information donated by Linda at:

Coastal Carolina Indian Center
[Work in Progress]
Free People of Color - by County - 1790 Federal Census

A cross-reference using surnames, known names of Indian families, and historic Indian villages

In researching Indian ancestry, it's important to note that for a variety of reasons in history (usually economic or socio-political), Indian people were often recorded as any race other than Indian. Sometimes "White," other times "Black," or "Negro," and other times "Free Person of Color," "Colored," or "Mulatto."

The entries below have been taken from transcriptions of the 1790 Federal Census for several eastern North Carolina counties. The notes in the right column correlate to the 1790 county/family names to the left. Known Indian villages are given with modern-day equivalent town names, as well as any surnames that appear as "Other Free" on the 1790 census that are surnames also found amongst known Indians in documents (deeds, court records, etc.).

Please keep in mind that just because someone is of a particular surname that has at some point been associated with a particular tribe DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that the person was of that tribe.
It is necessary to establish a "preponderance of evidence" before making the assumption that someone was of a particular Indian nation.



Donated to website by
Janet Foster (

Noticed that there was a Thomas Roscow on jury in Bertie Co., NC, 1798 and wondered if he might be related to the Joshua Rascow who assigned land warrant in Knox Co., KY to Benj. Bennett who assigned it to BenAger Harp.

Knox Co.,Ky, Jan 7th 1817 Surveyed for BENNOGH HARP Assee of BENJ. BENNETT, Assee of JOSHUA ROSCOW, Assee of WM. STEPHENSON, 50 acres - Ky. Land Office War #1200 dated Oct 3, 1816 on Middle Fork of Big Poplar Creek. OWEN RAGAN, AMOS BENNETT and BENNOGH (Benager) HARP.

Portions of transcription by Janet Foster 


From North Carolina State Archives
Bertie County, North Carolina - 1798 Jury Listed


State of N Carolina, Bertie County - August Term 1793 ----

Present the worshipful WILLIAM CHERRY, JOSEPH JORDAN, and DAVID TURNER, Esquires, Justices. Be it remembered that heretofore (vis) May Term in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight before the Justices of the County Court of pleas & quarter sessions of Bertie County came AMEY BENNETT, Administrator of JOHN BENNETT deceased, by JOHN ROUTHACHER, Attorney and brought here into court a certain bill against CORNELIUS RYAN and JOHN ARMISTEAD of the said County of a plea that they render to her the sum of (?sixteen) hundred eighty dollars, equal to another sum of eight hundred & forty pounds which from her they unequally detain to her damage two hundred pounds currency (no declaration filed). And now at this Time (to wit) on the second Monday of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & Ninety Eight at the court house in Windsor in Bertie County aforesaid before the justices aforesaid came the said CORNELIUS RYAN & JOHN ARMISTEAD by WILLIAM KADE, their Attorney & pleaded the (?? ) pay & let off (no plea in writing) and thereupon ordered that the said issue be here tried by a jury to be summoned agreeable to the form of the Statute in each case made & provided and on the second Monday of August one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight came the said parties and their attornies aforesaid before the Justices of the said COURT at WINDSOR & the Jurors of the Jury being summoned and appeared (to wit) 


who being chosen and sworn to speak the truth of the above complaint say upon their oaths that they find the obligation declared on to be the act and deed of the defendants thereupon the defendant aforsaid being defeated (?five) prayed an appeal to the Superior Court to be held for the District of Edenton at the COURT HOUSE in EDENTON on the sixth day of October next and ordered bond with JOHN WOLPENDEN AND EPHREUM MILLER, securities in the sum of sixteen hundred and fifty one pounds eight shillings, the entry of which and the Execution thereof being made and done it was ordered that all proceedings herein before mentioned be (?Hayed?)

Witness. signed by GEORGE (?GRAYLEE)

JOHN BENNETT'S Adm ** Bertie County Court August Term 1793 CORNELIUS RYAN & JOHN ARMISTEAD - promisory note

Six Months after date, We or either of us do promise to pay or cause to be paid unto AMEY BENNETT, Administrator to JOHN BENNETT deceased, Sixteen hundred and Eighty Dollars, of the United States for Value Received - - - Witness our hands & Seals this Twenty Second day of July 1797 - - signed & seal by CORNELIUS RYAN & JOHN ARMISTEAD - Witness DAVID CLARK


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