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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology


March  2012


John Oneall 1716 patent for 440 acres on Tom King’s Creek - “File No. 1192,  John O’Neal” (October 9, 1716), Land Office: Land Warrants, Plats of Survey, and Related Records, Secretary of State Record Group, State Records, Old Book 8:113-14,  Microfilm S.108.451 (Raleigh, N.C.: State of North Carolina)

 John Lawson visited this town circa 1701 and left his record of the Anglicized Hatteras Indians for all to read in his book:  A New Voyage to Carolina; Containing the Exact Description and Natural History of That Country: Together with the Present State Thereof. And A Journal of a Thousand Miles, Travel'd Thro' Several Nations of Indians. Giving a Particular Account of Their Customs, Manners, &c., published in London in 1709.

The mouth of Tom King’s Creek, also known as “Peter’s Creek” (allegedly named for Peter Gordon) in the recent past, begins the boundaries of the later Elks grant of 1759 that was patented for “William Elks and the Rest of the Hatteras Indians.”  O’Neale probably held this property well before 1716 and his relationship with the neighboring Indians seems to have been a good one.  It’s not so easy to call them “Indians” because, as Lawson found, they probably behaved more like Englishmen, shared DNA, dressed, and worshipped like them, too.  Still, living on a remote island far away from prying eyes in the “country,” or mainland as Hatteras islanders once called it, made living openly as something other than “white” far simpler.  [Reference Cecelski’s Waterman’s Song]

John “O’Neill” appears on a Currituck County tax list for 1718, having paid his taxes, unlike Henry Davis and Patrick “Kallahan” who later had a hot dispute (I believe) over land boundaries.  This dispute got Henry Davis killed the next year and Patrick Callahan, who killed Davis with a sword, lost his Hatteras property, which just so happened to border both the Mackuen land (which I believe is later the land of Joseph “McCun” from the 1755 tax list or Joseph “Maskue” from the 1757 deed for the same location).  See map below:


Readjusted 1716 patents in the area of Trent WoodsBase map: 1883 Hatteras map (annotated by Baylus C. Brooks).  A red line represents the mistaken course of Tom King’s Creek and the unforeseen extension of Patrick Callahan’s property in the initial erroneous patents of 1716.  The last frame shows the readjusted property lines as determined from deed and other records.  Mary Davis was too young in 1720 to inherit, but after she came of age and married Thomas Robb, the Jacobite “rebel” who was shipped to Carolina in 1716, they settled in upper Currituck from where they came in 1751 to claim their land.  For about thirty-five years, the Hatteras Indians did not suffer any serious problems with European settlers.  When the Robbs arrived in 1751, they determined that the town was on their land.  The Trent Woods town was readjusted again and granted with 200 acres to “William Elks and the Rest of the Hatteras Indians” in 1759.  Source: “File No. 1190, Henry Davis” (September 12, 1716), “File No. 1196, Patrick Callihan” (October 9, 1716), “File No. 1192,  John O’Neal” (October 9, 1716), Land Office: Land Warrants, Plats of Survey, and Related Records, Secretary of State Record Group, State Records, Old Book 8:113-14,  Microfilm S.108.451 (Raleigh, N.C.: State of North Carolina); United States Coast Survey, “General chart of the coast no. V from Cape Henry to Cape Lookout” (1883), MC.168.1883ub, North Carolina State Archives (Raleigh, N.C.: State of North Carolina).

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