Last update:Tuesday, 22-Sep-2009 10:48:26 MDT
As soon as you begin to read the Deeds of your Ancestors you will see how important a knowledge of the geographic features of Bertie County are. Some of these Names are not on today's maps, so we hope to be able to help you in locating them.
The most important (and unusual) feature of Bertie County is the term POCOSIN - SWAMP. A pocosin was an Indian term meaning "swamp-on-a-hill" for a swamp located in an elevated area that ordinarily would not be called swampland. On the tops of these rises can be found swamps and quicksand---pocosins.
A true swamp is low with water moving through them most of the time. The pocosin was high elevation, covered with water at times, which gradually drained. They were usually located between the higher plateau and the lowland swamp region.
Pocosin land should have produced good crops as the heavy peat retained moisture and didn't erode, however it lacked nitrogen and was very acidic. The Tuscarora Indians burned the fields to plant crops, because the ashes were fertilizer which compensated for the natural deficiences. The conifer forests required fire for regeneration.
The farmland was very fertile and is still as close to a rainforest as you'll get in the US. Their main crops were tobacco, corn, beans, and squash, the latter three still are referred to as the three sisters, which was all the Indians needed to keep their people alive.
The pocosin with its periodic standing water was not good for human habitation being legendary with snakes and mosquitos. Illness due to this standing water was prevalent and in those early times, it was not directly connected to the mosquito breeding.
Poquosin: A Study of Rural Landscape and Society by Jack Temple
Kirby. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1995.
Mr. Kiby's book is an interesting study of the land and gives much insight into Bertie County early rural life.
WATERWAYS OF BERTIE--- The waterways in and around the present Bertie County played a very important part in the development and economic growth of the area. While growing up in Bertie County I had the chance to boat up and down all these steams, too fish, and visit each of these bodies of waters. Later we will see how they played a very important part in the stories or landmarks associated with each of them. ALBEMARLE SOUND--- Bertie County is in reality a peninsula because it is surrounded on three sides by water. These Waterways provided the first mode of transportation and paid a very important part in the development of the area. One of the important avenues of water travel was the Albemarle Sound that was positioned on the eastern border where Bertie starts and forms that area's eastern county line. The Sound is a very large waterway that is several miles wide and nearly seventy mile in length. In the beginning it served as an important water highway for coastal and world trade. Over the early settlement of the Colony seagoing vessels sailed through the several inlets as they pass inside the outer banks. When a vessel Sailed due east from Manteo they would arrive at what later would be Bertie County. Here they unload their cargo at the many docks along her three major rivers. The rivers along the borders gave many ports-of-call a place to safely unload their products and their passengers. At the head of Albemarle Sound was Bachelors Bay where the water from five Bertie County Rivers came together. RIVERS--- A total of five rivers originate within Bertie or flowed along the shoreline on each side of the county before entering the Albemarle Sound. For many, many years these bodies of water have supported commercial fisheries such as Perry and Wynn at Colerain and Mackey Ferry, Jamesville Fishery plus the sport fishermen that plow the waters all the time in hopes of catching that really big one. Fish have supplied an important part in the food chain in the area for both the Indians and the settlers. Fish was also a great source for fertilizer that was used in crop production. During the spring spawning migration fish could be caught by the boatload. There were the Herring, Shad. Rock Fish and White Perch. Also there were large and small mouth Bass, Catfish, Crappie, Eel and Carp in large quantity. It was a common experience on a given fishing trip to catch as many as 500 or more Herring during a days outing while drifting with a skim net in the Roanoke River. CHOWAN RIVER--- The largest of the five rivers is the Chowan River that starts in the state of Virginia and flows southeast and later formed the northern border of Bertie County. This river at her widest point is over one mile wide when it joins the Albemarle Sound just adjacent to Eden House Ferry Landing and the US Highway 17. In 1960 we purchased and moved a trailer onto Perry's Beach. We purchased the trailer after Hurricane Hazel stuck the coast at Morehead City and caused extensive damage to the surrounding area. A very good friend of ours had a cabin that survived the water and wind but many other structures were totally destroyed. Next door to Larry's place was a trailer owned by a couple from Rocky Mount NC. During the furry of the storm the trailer ended up against his house with exterior structure damage, all the windows broken out and several feet of sand deposited inside. After the Insurance Company declared the trailer a total lost I made an offer to move the trailer and give him a fair price and repair the damage to Larry's house. After boarding up the windows with plywood shoveling and washing out tons of sand we hauled it back to Williamston to a vacant lot next to my home. For the next eight months I spent making the necessary repairs and replacements. It doesn't take salt water very long to start eroding away metal after it becomes in contact. Hazel came through on October 15, 1954 and by late June I of 1955 Dot and I had it back to first class shape. I was lucky to lease a water front lot at Perry's Beach on the Chowan River two mile south of Colerain. We later built and an attached sun room and a free standing shed use both for my boat and cookouts where we served fish, bar-B Que chicken, etc. For the next ten years we enjoyed this holiday haven until we moved 250 miles away to Charlotte NC in 1963. We still continued to return every other weekend as long as my parents were alive. My father and Mother loved to meet us at the beach where he would bring his pleasure boat. They looked forward to joining us at the beach on Friday night for a weekend of family fun and being with their grand children. It was a tough six-hour trip from Charlotte to Perry's Beach in the sixties because at that time the present interstate routes had not been developed. Most all of the highways were just two lane roads. SPRING MIGRATION--- The Chowan was a great place to catch herring when they migrate upstream in the spring of the year. Pound nets were strung from near the shoreline to almost half way across the river. Poles were driving about twenty feet apart into the sandy bottom on which the net was hung and secured. The net was strung from the center of the channel toward the shore and was used as a barrier to herd the fish into a large trap. The fish are expected to enter the room size trap through a funnel that channels them into the center of the impoundment. With luck a few will escape back through the small entrance but most would be trapped until the whale type fishing boat arrives to drop the flap over the entrance and then start hoisting the net to dump the catch into bottom of the boat made especially for ferrying fish back to the fish processing plant. At the peak of the migration a single pound net will produce a boatload of fish of many species. The most would be Herring but on a given day there will be Shad, Eel, Carp, Catfish, Rock Fish, etc. After reaching the Processing Plant the fish were shoveled into a large trough where then slid down into a large drum covered with hardware cloth. The rotation of the drum and power washing hose the scales were removed before they were dumped out at the other end. Here they moved by a conveyer belt next to a large cutting table where workers would grasp the fish by the head and hold it upright on the table surface and with one quick motion they would almost remove the head just behind the gills and rotate the razor sharp knife and in what looked like a single swipe of the blade would make a thin cut along the lower edge on the stomach cavity and remove the row. The dressed fish could be placed in a large wooden vat where salt was added layer on layer for corning purposes. A twin bladed saw was used to fillet and remove the backbone before it was packed in glass jars to create pickled herring with vinegar and spices added to be shipped to northern markets. The fish roe was washed and placed in cans where it was sealed and placed under pressure to preserve finished product. All of the discarded fish parts were then cooked to make fish. All there products were marketed under the Perry and Wynn labeled and known worldwide. UPPER CHOWAN--- The upper branched of the Chowan River extends northwest and goes pass the docks at Eden House Landing, Ashland, Mount Gould, White and Perry's Beach, Colerain, Harrellsville and Tunis where the ACL Rail Road crossed the Chowan River in route to Portsmouth VA from Rocky Mount NC. At the headwaters of this river it divides into two separate branches at the Virginia State Line. The Meherrin River branches off to the left a couple of miles south of Winton where it now crosses underneath SR 158 / US #13 Highways. Just pass Winton it now becomes a much smaller river that continues upstream to pass Murfreeboro and continues northwest and then near Boykin and then Nottingham Virginia. Seagoing tugs still navigate this water past Harrellsville as they tow Oil Barges to Winton and Murfreeboro in Hertford County. ANCHOR AWAY---On a good day we could catch 50 to 100 White Perch in the Chowan River in front of our place at Perry's Beach during the migration season as they traveled upstream to spawn. While fishing in the Sound with our good friends Bob and Cathy Lyles from Charlotte we arrived at the intended fishing grounds when I announced that we would give it a try here first. Bob was positioned in the bow of the boat and was requested to toss over the anchor. What a surprise! WE had forgot to tie the end of the anchor rope to the boat. Down and out of sight went the anchor and of course the rope that was supposed to be tied to the gunwale followed behind. It disappeared into the depth of the water in a flash. We had many a good laugh about this mishap over the years. Toss the anchor "matte" was the greeting whenever we met each other. BACHELORS BAY--- At the head of Albemarle Sound is a sizable body of water that starts to narrow down into a point where four rivers empty into the area named Batchelor Bay. At the far western portion of the bay is where the Cashie River exited at the very tip- end of the narrowing point. Listed below are the other rivers that also entered into Batchelor's Bay. SALMON CREEK--- Updated on 10-16-2002. In addition to the five rivers that originated or passed next to Bertie County there are two major creeks that flow into the headwaters of the sound. The largest is Salmon Creek with her entrance a couple of miles east of the old Eden House Landing where it empties into the Albemarle Sound. The very first known records that I have regarding the present Salmon Creek was when it appears on the Cumberford map in 1657 as Flatt's Creek. Fourteen years later in 1671 it appears on the Ogilby map as Salmon Creek. Where the name Salmon originated has not been fully established, as there is no proof or known Salmon fish having been caught in any area south or below the Hudson Bay. Earlier researcher reported a map of this Creek showing a house located they as belonging to a Salmon Family. It is probably that a family named Salmon lived there at sometime in the past. As you travel westward upstream from the Albemarle Sound you will find that Salmon Creek divides into two separate contributories. Eastmost Swamp so named in the Powell map heads to the right in an eastward direct and thereby obtained this name. Cricket Swamp branches off and then travels to the left. Farther upstream on Cricket Swamp, which probably got that name for John Cricket who owner land there as early as 1727, it merges with a swamp that is called Dunmoor Branch. The upper most reaches of Dunmoor Branch originated in the Merry Hill area before joining Cricket Swamp. The Merry Hill Community is approximate ten mile from Windsor and six miles from the entrance to Salmon Creek, as the crow flies. The first settlers who came to the area staked their claim on Salmon Creek. The Avoca and Bal-Grey Plantations are located on each side of Salmon Creek not to far from the entrance of these two creeks. BAL-GRA PLANTATION--- Located on the opposite bank of Salmon creek from "Alcoa" was the plantation of Colonel Thomas Pollock who at that time lived at his Bal-Gra Plantation. Thomas Pollock was born in Glasgow, Scotland and came to the Carolina Providence in 1683 as a deputy of the Lord Proprietor Lord Carteret and later served as deputy for the Earl of Granville. He was a very influential leader who served twice as the acting Governor when the person serving in that capacity died while officially in office. He also was appointed and served as the President of the Provincial Council. Another individual lived in the general vicinity of the settlement around Salmon Creek was Governor Edward Hyde who sat in office from 1710 to 1712. He died after he became ill and came down with yellow fever. CASHOKE CREEK--- There is a sizable body of water called Batchelor's Bay at the west end of Albemarle Sound. This is where the Chowan, Middle, Eastmost, Cashie and Roanoke Rivers plus Salmon and Cashoke Creeks empty into that body of water. Near the head of this Bay and to the right is Cashoke Creek that starts near the entrance to Cashie River. Some maps have it emptying into the mouth of the Cashie. This stream travels northwest and ends near Merry Hill. On the route it passes the Shipyard Landing. This location was a noted Indian Landing where pottery fragment dating as far back as 400 AD can still be found there. It was a good fish bait shop where you could purchase supplies, snacks, fishing worms and shiners for an enjoyable fishing trip. My Father and I have had great success when we departed for a days fishing from this landing. We have departed at the same time as another fisherman and return to find the caught a few but more than likely we had a long stringer of Speckle Perch (Crappie) Part of this success results was from skill and luck but mostly from preparation. Mr father with one his fishing buddies usually constructed several hurdles every fall after the weather turned a little cooler and the musketeers had been killed by a heavy frost. Of course you would hope the snakes had hibernated by that time. They would find an ideal spot and sink a long pole into the creek bottom a couple of boat lengths off from the shore. Next one of them would get on the bank and cut myrtle bushes that were then loaded into the boat and taken to the spot of the new hurdle. Before sinking the brush they made a loop with baling wire in a fork so as to create a yoke like collar. After the collar was created it was placed over the top of the pole and forced downward with a paddle to make a large brush pile starting at the creek's bottom. They would stack many Mrytle branched over the center pole until it was about three feet below the water line they would slip a cement block over the top and let it slide down the pole to weight all the brush down. The next operation was to saw the pole off below the water line so that other fisherman hopefully could not locate it. Care had to be taken that you cut your brush away from the bank area so that you did not leave any tell-tell evidence that would a clue that a hurdle was created nearby. Most important you needed to remember where all of your hurdles were located in each creek or river. FISHING AT IT'S BEST--- My daddy never made a map to show where his honey holes were constructed. He had them blue printed in his head. When I would go fishing with him he would cut the outboard motor and let the boat glide toward a selected spot. His instructions were for me to drop my hook with a live minor ten feet directly off from the dead stump at the waters edge. Plump went the sinker twelve feet from the bank with nothing happening. He would repeat his instruction and say I need to pick the cork straight up out of the water and drop it eight feet off of the dead stump. No sooner had the cork floated on the water's surface it disappeared from sight. Now set the hook by giving the tip end of the cane pole a short snap that resulted with a firm jerk in the opposite direction from which the cork submerged. We quite often caught several specks at the hurdle before we moved to another location. Before leaving my daddy would lower his paddle over the hurdle and give it several jabs. We waited a few minutes and quite often we would catch some of the spooked fish as they returned to the cover of the foliage in the hurdle. This technique worked quite often. On the return trip back to the landing we on some occasion stop and fish the same hurdle. Again we would pick up a couple of additional fish that had moved into the branches of the myrtle brush to feed and for protection. A hurdle would usually last for about three years before it had to be restored with additional brush added to the top of the pile...This was one of my father's favorite places to launch his boat and head off toward the other rivers and creeks in the area. This was a perfect place to start your day. Monroe and his wife Julia operated the shipyard Landing in the 1940's where we bought our live bait, tackle, can of beans, Sardines, crackers, soft drinks, etc. Julia almost lost her life in an automobile accident in the 50's. Only a short distance from the exit of Cashoke Creek was the mouth of the Cashie River. SQUIRE BILLY--- Squire Billy was a home loving individual, never known to have been a traveler. His first and only known trip of importance was when he arrived unannounced to his current location. The strange thing about the entire event is that nobody seemed to know anything about from where he came or the date he arrived. The big question still remains unanswered and has never been solved as to how he got there in the first place or when he departed. The fact is that he showed up and claimed ownership over his domain and never gave it up. Ever since his arrival he posted guard day and night over his self- proclaimed property. Here he lived all alone. "Billy" gladly allowed the world to just slowly pass him by. It was a world that he wanted no part of on that day or the days that were to follow. He just resided there on his little secluded Island that was surrounded and protected by the Eastmost River, shores of Batchelor's Bay and Middle River. Take out a map of North Carolina and you will find this island at the far reaches of eastern Bertie County at the very tip of where western Batchelor Bay originates. THE KINGDOM OF SQUIRE BILLY --- When I went fished in this area with my father before WW II in the 1030's we would always be on the lookout for Mr. Billy that lived on this exclusive island. Most of the time as we approached his island he would be standing atop of the roof of the partly collapsed porch of a fishing cabin that was constructed on small poles at the waters edge. He seemed to be mounted up there, standing still as a stature, watching out over his own domain. It was said that Squire Billy came ashore here during one of the great Roanoke River floods that took place almost every spring of the year until the dam was constructed at Bugs Island in the 1940's. Billy had survived on this small un-populated island over the years living here while eating the briers and myrtle bushes that grew there. The undergrowth was so dense it was practically impossible for a human to penetrate the area. The Cat Claw Briers would rip your tough double thick canvas hunting britches to threads if you dared to give the Squire a chase. A SURPRISED VISITOR--- The story goes that a stranger attempted to stakeout "Old Bill" Island but was caught in the act. From out of nowhere "Old William" charged the surprised intruded in a flash. The first supporting post that held-up the east end of the porch shed was also struck by the full force of Mr Billy and it collapsed as he rammed into his uninvited guest. The fisherman had docked his boat and jumped up on the porch to get a glimpse of Billy. He was leaning over to tie up his boat with the bow rope thereby presenting a fantastic rear-end target. Out of nowhere Billy made his charge. The intruder found out then and there it was absolutely no place for a totally uninvited stranger. Those of us who knew Mr Billy had learned to let him have his own territory and stay away from his self proclaimed Castle. Don't tread on my front porch or you will pay the price. When contact was made with the well presented Bulls-Eye it was made exactly at dead center. The impact propelled the culprit back into his boat where he landed flat on his belly. No doubt these posture would have been the perfect time for "Billy" to plant the torch but he was not ready to pass the command over to someone else at that time in his life. Instead "Old Billy" seamed to enjoy his new gained victory. There he stood looking down at his wide-eyed intruder. The fisherman had been removed from his porch but he still offered a threat to his goat kingdom. For a brief moment Mr Billy stood there blare eyed over the shocked poacher. The frightened fisherman then managed to roll over and hold his hands over his chest for protection while laying there flat on his back in the bottom of his boat. Instead of continuing with his attack Mr Billy stopped at the porch edge and let out a very loud triumphant blab-a-a-a t. He just stood there stared down at his victim with blaring eyes that looked as though they would pop out of their sockets. The fisherman gathered his composure and crawled to the stern of his boat and grabbed for the cranking cord and gave it one great jerk. As the engine sputtered and gained power it was rotated into the reverse position to gain a safe distance from the mad demon he had just escaped from up there at the old abandon fisherman shack. As a parting warning Mr Billy gave a fair well snort, whirled and disappearing into the dense undergrowth. This is the only known or revealed invasion of Mr. Billy's domain and his home. Everybody from that day forward let him live his life here on his small island in isolation and solitude. If a curious pass-a-bye-er tried to seek a closer peek at his kingdom they never told about it to anyone else. DAY DREAMING--- I often thought of "old Bill" while I was serving in the U.S.Navy during World II. At night while lying in my bunk while at sea I would daydream about the great times I had with my father fishing in the waterways near and around Batchelor Bay. This was our favorite fishing places were the creeks and rivers in the Roanoke Broad area of the upper Albemarle Sound came together. So often, as I would daydream, "Mr. Billy" would flash through my mine. I would wonder how he was surviving. I would chuckle out loud when I would remember his encounter with his uninvited guest. I though how happy he must be there on his island with no one to boss or order him around. As free as a Goat or maybe I should say like a souring albatross. What a change in his lifestyle he would have to make if he been drafted into military service and had to give up his palace and independence. No longer would he be allowed to do as he pleased. Had he been drafted he would get an awake-up call every morning just at the time his dreams were almost becoming reality. What! No watch duty to pull during assigned hours of the day or night. Having to stand watch with the snow from the raging blizzard pelting your face. You would stand there questioning the moment that you would be frozen stiff in place hoping that you would be relieved by the next assigned watch before it happened. There was no other choice for you but to "shake it off" and "step up" and do your assigned job. Then you would shift back in time to remember "The Squire" who was probably sleeping soundly in his forest of cat claw briers and Mrytle Bushes. If he so desired he could come and go as he pleased because there was no need for him to be issued a liberty pass to go ashore for leave. Not "Squire Billy" because he was free to do as he please. His only worry was that he needed to be ready to defend himself against the next uninvited intruder. A TREAT FOR THE SQUIRE--- I would sometime think, almost out a-live to myself that after the war was over how I would look forward to the time when I could return back to these wonderful fishing grounds and fish again with my father. We spent many a great moment here over the years. Yes I would go back to His Island, after I had taken the time to purchase Squire Billy an issue of the Bertie Ledger Newspaper and then special deliver it to him upon his front porch. After placing the newspapers with full caution I would ease the boat back into a safe distance into the middle of the river and watch him munch and enjoy his hand delivered treats. Should "Old Bill" still be there today on his island I could give him the news article covering the Bush and Gore Florida election. Maybe I should leave him a copy of the April 2001 Wall Street Journal Business Section to scan after the stock market took such a big tumble. "Old William" would probably refuse to eat these issues of the papers because all this bad news would only result in him having high blood pressure and a huge case of indigestion. With the stock market and politicians taking such a beating he would probably realize that the best thing for him to do was for him to pass up these special treats of the newspaper covering these events and just keep eating his Cat Claw Briers and Mrytle Bush leaves. MY SUPER HEROES--- There have always been heroes in one way or another. We have read about them in fairy tales, war stories, sporting events and the success of our political leaders. Each age group, culture and every person have had their set of heroes. I have read about, known or met my share of heroes during my lifetime. Sticking around for 77 years has gained me the position of a senior status. This may have allowed me to gain a big advantage over the current younger generation. My lifestyle experience plus my vocation also offered a remarkable opportunity to associate with such people. This does not mean that I have met George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt or Winston Churchill in person but I read about or seen a few in person at one time or another in my tenure here on this good earth. Every generation had their set of heroes. These heroes usually are individual that are closely identity with our own collective consciousness. We have all lived among great and ordinary people that have made our lives today a much better place to live today than it was yesterday. However, the heroes that were the most meaningful in our lives should be our own parents that choose to place us and the family above all else. They really were the ones that made the big sacrifice. They provide the best example as an adult model for their children to duplicate and later improve upon. We also had teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges, ministers, etc that have become our heroes. We ourselves should always try to play the role of a hero. A hero to me is someone that is courageous, respected by others, sets a great example and dose not take advantage of the weak or disadvantaged. Squire Billy who we have had a chance to meet probably was not a super hero. He however was in my mime a sort of hero because he had courage and was willing to defend his territory from intruders and never offended his friends. In time, I will share with you the total story about Mr Billy. CASHIE RIVER AND HER CONTRIBUTORS--- The Cashie River at one time was a very important waterway for transporting cargo such as naval supplies, Tobacco, animal pelts, cotton, passengers, etc. The Cashie is one of three rivers that originate and end in Bertie County. The swamps and Pocosins that compose the headwaters of the Cashie first originate near Roxobel and Aulander, which are not to far from the Northampton County line. The upper reaches of the Cashie are composed of shallow swamps, pocosins and steams that were not deep enough to be navigated. The Cashie River and their contributors divide the county approximately in half by splitting it from north to south. There are five Creeks that originate and exits into the Cashie Waterway before it flows into the Albemarle Sound Bay. WADING PLACE CREEK--- Heading west upstream from the mouth of the Cashie we find the first branch that is named Wading Place Creek. Is located on the right side only a few miles upstream from the start at Batchelor Bay. This Creek takes a direction that heads north where it immediately divides near the mouth into Wading Place Creek on the left and Chiska Creek to the right. The main branch of the creek leads toward the left and travels to where it starts near the Merry Hill community? Both the Wading Place and Chiska (Choowatic) are less than ten miles in length. The relative deep waters made it an ideal place to catch fish in the spring when they head to the shoreline near the banks to spawn. By this time in the year the herring, shad and rock fingerlings had hatched and created a feasting table for the now very active larger species due to the warming water conditions. All of this made the area a prime fishing ground. SPELLING of CASHIE ---The Cashie River has several other variations in the spelling of her name such as Kesiah, Casiah, Casia, Casayah, Cashy and Casshi. Today it is officially printed on state maps as the Cashie River. WINDSOR--- The Cashie River weaves it way upstream westward after it gets past the present county seat in Windsor, which was established in 1767. Several miles upstream past Windsor the Cashie River divides to the left and it is here where it branches off and continues as The Cashie Swamp that originates near the Northampton County Line. As you continue traveling about ten miles past Windsor due north the Cashie begins too looses her identity as a river when it divides and becomes Cucklemaker Creek and Flat Swamp. FLAT SWAMP - As the Cashie River heads in a northwest direction past Windsor Flat Swamp branches off to the right from the Cashie and heads in the direction of Askewville, which is a small community five miles north of Windsor. The area was first known as the "Pell Mell" Pocosin Woods, also called Piney and Big Woods. Bounded by Wills Quarter Swamp, now called Hoggard Mill Swamp, on the east, Loosing Swamp on the West and the Cashie River and its many tributaries at the south. Maps today show that the Pell Mell Pocosin encompasses the communities of Elm Grove, Holly Grove and Askewville area. ASKEWVILLE--- My father developed a great friendship with many of the locals from Askewville in the 1930's until he passed away in 1970. Living there were the White, Mizelle, Hoggard, Johnston, etc families to name only a few of those he knew. They were good Christain people, hard working, and family oriented, caring and honest. Most were great outdoor sportsmen who loved to hunt. Our family would attend some of the Fifth Sunday events that were held in the churches in the surrounding communities. A big lunch was always served on the grounds. Afterwards the various church groups would sing and present a program of music. There presentation by the many church choirs, quartets, etc. It was a big event for all. The group of locals had a unique dialect that was recognized and had the old English version in selection of words and expressions. After all they may have been the direct descendants of the first settler to live here in the 1700's. I personally enjoyed the friendships we developed over the years with the "Pell Mell" people who over the many years stayed a community primarily all their own. HOGGARD MILL---Hoggard's Mill was first called Will's Quarter Swamp. Plus there was a bridge referred to it as Wills Quarter Bridge as per earlier records. The original name was for William "Will" Byrd who had land interest there in the area. The main body of the Cashie River continues pass and runs north of Windsor where it divides into Flat Swamp, Hoggard Mill Swamp plus its contributory Cucklemaker Swamp. The name was changed from Will's Quarter Swamp and later took on the name for the mill that operated there by a Mr Hoggard. It was in this same general area prior to 1767 that the original County Courthouse and County Jail were first built and operated. Later the county government was relocated and new structures were built in Windsor. CUCKLEMAKER SWAMP--Just pass Flat Swamp the Cashie River splits to the left and becomes Hoggard Mill Swamp before it becomes the Cucklemaker Branch and heads in the direction of the community of Burden located about thirteen miles from the present Bertie County Seat. A small tributary stream that enters Cucklemaker Swamp was called Marvel Swamp [Branch] as found in the first Bertie land deeds dated 1760 when Mordecai White received a royal grant from Lord Granville for 420 acres of vacant land. Marvel Branch/Swamp was also spelled Morben, Morbin and Morrville. This waterway can be located and identified as it crosses Polly Road between Ross Church and Askewville. TOWN OF WINBERLY--- In 1752 the Colonial Assembly at Edenton created the town of Winberly at Blackman Landing at Joseph Wimberly Plantation on the Cashie River that was downstream from the present town of Windsor. Due to political pressure from the courthouse group at Casby this area never developed. The planned town was more to the east and down the river from where the then popular Grays landing and Tobacco Warehouse Center existed. An Act of 1743 provided that the courthouse etc" shall be built between Casby Bridge and Will's Quarter Bridge". NEW WINDSOR--- On 01-08-1768 the Colonial Assembly created New Windsor on the Cashie River at Gray's Landing. Samuel Clay Milbourn, tavern owner who had a lot of interest in the town's location, sold a half-acre site for just ten pounds with the understanding they would erect a courthouse on this property. This is the same site that the present courthouse building is located today per the article written by Harry L Thompson for the Windsor Bicentennial Celebration. Windsor was established as Bertie County Seat in 1774. BRYAN'S THOROUGHFARE--- This was a relatively short body of water that connected the Cashie River and the Roanoke River. It exits into the Cashie a few miles up stream from Cashoke Creek. This body of water runs due south until it enters into the Roanoke River several miles upstream from Middle River. Another popular name for the Thoroughfare was The "Cut Thorough". River traffic would use this route when taking cargo from Windsor to points up the Roanoke River as far west as Williamston, Hamilton and Weldon. It was a very popular fishing area for sportsmen. The story is told about the need to capture a Buccaneer's ship that was boarding and robbing other vessels in the Albemarle Sound area. The Buccaneer would always make a safe escape when given chase by entering the Cashie River and proceed to Ryan's Thoroughfare where he would pass through and them return back into the Sound by the Roanoke River. Leaving the ship of the Royal Navy wondering where the ship they were pursuing had gone. After sailing upstream they realize that the culprit had made a clean escape ROQUIST CREEK--- The next stream to the left is Roquist Creek that joins the Cashie on the left side just below the Sans Sauci Ferry Landing. This narrow body of water starts near Woodard NC and joins up with the Choowatic Pocosin drainage floodplain as it continues past the communities of Grabtown and Cahhaba and through Indian Woods community before ending near the Lewiston-Woodville area. Here it is known as Roquist Pocosin. Many of my earlier ancestors developed home sites along the Roquist Creek and Pocosin area. The headwaters of this branch of water passed near Benny and Perry Wardsworth property. This is the area where The Needham Bryan Family developed Snowfield Plantation. SAN SAUCI FERRY--- The Cashie River after it passing Roquist Creek heads upstream where we find the location of the Sans Sauci Ferry Landing. This was one of the oldest known Ferry Crossings on the Cashie River. It was here that I first saw and experienced this small one-car ferry. In colonial days a ferry landing such as this was privately owned. It was first propelled across the river with oars and poles. Later it was pulled back and forth by animal power such as oxen, horse or mule. Where the river is wide the ferry was pulled back and forth by sisal hemp rope or cable attached to a pulley anchored on the opposite shore. The ferry was towed across to the opposite side when the oxen or other animal walked around and around a stationary turnstile until it reached the other bank. The ferry would return when the beast of burden went in the opposite direction. When I first saw the Ferry at Sans Sauci it had been taken over by the State of NC. It had been outfitted with a model "T" gasoline engine that had been mounted on an extended platform in the center section of the ferry. A metal drum was attached to the drive shaft of the engine that would go forward or backward as the need required. Around the drum / pulley passed a steel cable that allowed the ferry to be pulled back and forth as it was moved to the opposite bank of the river. When you arrive at the landing and wished to pass over to the opposite side you would give a long "toot" with the car's horn to alert the operator that you needed assistance to cross over the river. The operated was usually on duty 24 hours a day. You could catch him at home almost at anytime of the day. The operator lived in the house there at the landing. I don't recall ever seeing a sign hung on the ferry entrance chain stating: "Out to lunch" be back at 2:00 PM. The Ferry was State operated with no fee charged to cross to the opposite side. This was a favorite place for us to launch our boat to get in a day full of fishing. When I lived in Williamston and the retail stores closed on a Wednesday afternoon it was close enough to get there and catch a mess of brim before the sun would set. About five miles upstream the river narrows considerably and the shoreline becomes shallow with a sandy bottom. When the sunfish are bedding it the spring that presents one of the best fishing location in the eastern part of the state. CASHIE SWAMP--- The Cashie Swamp originates north a few miles upstream past Windsor. The Cashie River flows eastward while the Cashie Swamp branches off to the left. At this point the swamp travels in a westward direction where it now makes a sweeping one mile arch to the east around the Republican Church area located on a map east of SR 308. At this point the stream then takes a gradual forty-five degree turn to the south and then fish hooks back again due westward as the swamp now passes south of the Snakebite Community. Several fingers like streams branch off from the Cashie Swamp on both the left and right for the next couple of miles. In this area a small island is created a few miles upstream from the Snake Bite Crossroads. Multiple finger-like branches sprig off in this area north of Snakebite. Hopefully the names of these small streams can be located at the Soil Conservation Office Map in Windsor where they have on file Topography Maps of Bertie County. I have one of these maps of Martin County in my file. From Snakebite the swamp turns to the left and heads towards Lewiston. This is about five miles upstream from Snakebite. Many of my ancestor and their relatives were raised here in the Republican and Snake Bite neighborhoods. The Cashie Swamp then continues west where the man stream passes about three miles to the right of Lewiston. Just below Lewiston another branch of the main stream "Y" off to the left and crosses under SR 11 and to the east of Hoggard Memorial Cemetery. This unnamed branch originates in the area that is now the NC State Test Farm Site before heading south to join the Cashie Swamp. Returning back to the junction with the Cashie Swamp you travel only a short distance until another "Y" exits to the right and is named Wattom Swamp. Three miles upstream to the left is another entry of water that passes under SR #1203 and originates near the Vick Farm. At Kelford it flows to the east side adjacent and to the right of the town limits before passing under the SR #1204 Bridge. SR #1204 was a dirt road that started at Church Street before heading out of town and terminating at 72 Harrell Siding. This small steam with a swamp area less than one-quarter mile wide continues a few hundred yards before it passes under the ACL Rail Road Trestle. The Cashie Swamp then continues to the southwest where it now crosses under the Seaboard RR Trestles about 1/2 mile from town. This was our favorite swimming place for all the kids from Kelford. The stream then continues southwest where it crosses under SR #308 about half way between Kelford and the RK School Building. Around 1939 the WPA constructed an improved sidewalk and two small bridges at the double stream to allow the RK students to cross over these branches. Before the bridges were constructed the school kids walked in the highway when the water was up and you could not jump across the stream. This was a great place to gig bullfrogs and catch tadpoles during warm weather. It is now called Browns Branch and continues southward before it terminates near the Allie Hall farm less than a miles away. The Cashie Swamp was known as a notorious place for bootleggers to make their white lighting from corn. The waterways offered a good supply of water plus the swamp offered protection in which they could locate and hide a liquor still operation. It was quite common for us to spot an operating still while we hunted in and around the swamps. Most of the time we could be alerted to the location when we first detected the distinct smell of fermenting grain used to make barrels of mash. We always tried to avoid getting to close due to possibility of coming face to face with the operator who might be holding a double barrel shotgun aiming at your head. It was important that you avoid being identified or seen at such an operation. See no evil and tell no evil was the rule you needed to abide with. If you actually do not see a still then you could not identified the operators. Later if the revenue crew targeted them then they could not accuse you as the person who squealed to the law or could they point their finger toward you as the person that disclosed the location of the still after the Revenue Officers came with his ax and dynamite to put him out of business. The best policy was let a sleeping dog lie by staying clear of his den. What you didn't know couldn't be told. MAKING OF WHISKEY--- When the ABC officers Jesse Johnston from Roxobel and Jesse Waters from Windsor captured a nice copper still they would bring it by the Standard Oil Service Station on Main Street in Kelford where people would gather to inspect and speculate as to who the owners were of this 100 gallon plus operation belonged. The smaller submarine units were destroyed on the spot. The location of the destruction could be identified from the boom when they lit a stick of dynamite and it went off usually denoting a liquor still find. Local people knew all of the bootleggers in the area thereby they knew where they had their stills. After the blast they would remark that the JESSE TWINS had found so-in-so operation and had sent it up into the sky. Note: During the depression days the making of a few gallons of corn whiskey was thought to be a cat and mouse game only between the bootlegger and the ABC boys. However, it was usually a matter of hide and seeks before the revenue gang would locate their operation, which usually resulted in the total destruction of their equipment. Most operators stayed in a given location only long enough to run off one or two batches of sour corn mash before moving or then laying low until the hot pursuit eased. It the person or persons who were operating the still was too intoxicated to seek and find a hiding place somewhere in the woods and were apprehended then they were usually sited to appear in court for breaking a Federal Tax Law. The law stated that you could not manufacture and sell none- taxed alcohol beverages. A plea of not guilt was quite often enter due to the fact that the person apprehended claim that he had accidentally wander across the whiskey still and mistaking thinking it was water began to take a few sips. Sometimes the arrested person would tell the judge that he was there in the area cursing the woods for a Christmas tree for which his wife had sent him to find. Being thirsty from the long tromp throughout the swamp he luckily happen to see a jug setting there by a stump for him to try. To his surprise he never saw a whiskey still nearby. Next thing he remembers was when the officer was shaking him to make him wake him up from a nap. During these depression days it was usually accepted and expected that you not report the sighting of a whiskey still. You were taught to keep your mouth shut and ignore the making and the selling of corn liquor. It was especially so if the person was a local who ran the operation and was known to live there in our neighborhood. However, when a big-time bootlegger from the outside set up a large still or flophouse he got very little protection or hush-hush from the communities. OUR LOG CABIN--- As boys we built a small log cabin along and beside of the Cashie Swamp. It was east and down the hill below the Regional Norfleet "Haunted" House. This was just beyond and outside the northeast corner of the Kelford Town limits. Once in a while, a couple of us kids would decide to spend the night in our cabin down by the ole millstream. After cooking our Ho Bo Stew over an open fire and then tucking ourselves in for the night we were awaken later by the sound of someone chopping wood. The next morning when we went to investigate we came across a liquor still that was being operated down stream only a few hundred yards from our sleeping quarters. Needless to say we never returned to spend the night there again until the still had been relocated to someplace else. We had no fear of the still operators but we had doubts as the damage that may occur from a blast from dynamite or stray bullets that may be fired while chasing fleeing bootleggers by the ABC Officers. It should be noted that an officers never fired a shots unless they were fired upon first. This was not like what we see in the Hollywood Movies when they chased and have a shootout with the law. This usually was the highlight point of the chase. CONNARISTA SWAMPS--- About eight miles upstream from Windsor as you travel west-northwest toward the Northampton County Line is where the Cashie Swamp again divides to the right. This new Branch of water is named the Connarista Swamp. This small stream heads more to the north-north west and passes under a bridge at State Route 1200 between Rhodes Place and Connarista Crossroad. It then continues in the same general direction where it passes under North Carolina SR 11 and 42. Heading towards Aulander where it now crosses over SR #1208 the road from 72 siding to Roades Place Crossroads. For years there was no bridge here at this crossing where the road and swamp met. Horse and carriage, Wagons and cars just waded or forged across the pond that had been formed there in the middle of the road. It presented no problem except after a big rain where you either took a detour or plowed across the high water as you picked your way safely to the other side. The headwaters of the Connarista Swamp originate southwest of the town of Aulander where it branches out in three separate directions that formed small streams to serve as a drainage system for the area. The total length of this swamp is about 12 miles long. WATTOM SWAMP--- Heading upstream the next body of water to branch-off from the Cashie Swamp is the Wattom that was also spelled as Whatton and Waltom Swamp. It is located about twelve miles up stream from Windsor. Here the Wattom swamp branches off to the right after passing the Connarista Swamp exit that is only a few miles downstream prior. This now shallow stream that has a moderate wide swampland area continues westward where it crosses under the bridge at SR 1204 that runs from Main Street in Kelford to Harrell Siding Crossing. Less than a mile out of town the dirt road runs parallel along beside the ACL Railroad for about 3/4 of a mile. The Wattom crosses and is located about a quarter of a mile west from where SR 1204 and SR 1208 intersect at Harrell Siding Railroad Crossing. There was a wooden bridge structure built over the Wattom where I would go to catch shiners used to catching Speckle Perch. I lost my one-week old High School Class Ring while catching baitfish off of the bridge that crossed over the swamp. The trick to catch shiners was to lower a three feet circular drop net and sprinkle crumbs of bread into the middle of the basket. On close observation you could see several of the small fish will start to gather and begin to feed on the bait. The key is to watch for the ones that start to leave with a full stomach and then you should start to easy the net upward and impound your prey. Never touch the shiners with your hands. I used a small dip net to put them in a live bait pail with creek water that they are accustomed to living in. We had a live bait box in our backyard where we kept the bait until we went fishing on the weekend. It usually took about three-dozen baitfish for a good- days catch. When the fish are really biting. On some occasions I have caught as many as five Crappies with one single shiner. The Wattom Swamp continues and flows on a northwest course that is somewhat parallel to the Connarista Swamp and splits in half the distance between the Cashie and Connarista. The headwater originates in the Teaster Shack area that is about two miles east of Roxobel. This portion of the swamp serves as the drainage for the floodplain around the community of Teaster Shack. It was here in this area where Joe Teaster that married the daughter of my cousin Rubin Peele lived and ran a country store there at the crossroads. RED NECK COON HUNTER--- I guess you can call me a read-neck because I have been known to go coon hunting on some occasions. One of the most enjoyable places was in the Wattom Swamp behind Judd Jilcott Farm east of Roxobel. His son George "Preacher" Jilcott always had excellent coon dogs. Before the days of TV it was a great past time to put an axe in a burlap bag and head off for a red-hot race during a inter night. Once the dogs strike a track they let you know with a "squall" like voice (bark) to announce that they have found where a coon has been. Before long the other dogs will join in with the job of trailing (searching for) up the prey. Now it is important that you know your dog and what he is telling you. "Old Bob is really leading the pack tonight", were the remarks George would make as the search leaves the edge of the cornfield and now enters into the nearby woods. Ned the black and white tick dog starts the real action when he lets out with a sharp series of quick and exciting sounding yelps. The full strike is now in high gear with the other two dogs joining in the hot pursuit. George now comments "Ned must have come eyeball to eyeball with that raccoon when he tried to circle back from the trailing pack". To show his approval George gives a bellowing blast at top voice to let the dogs know they have his approval, especially for the fine work by Ned and to encourage the other dogs to help with the race. A series of additional very loud yells by George is now used quite often to give encouragement and to announce that he wants them to continue the hot pursuit. A good race can last for quite sometime if it is an experienced Raccoon. The Coons objective is to try and lose the pack by doubling back, or by swimming up steam in the swamp, climbing a short distance up the trunk of a tree and then jumps as far a possible to the side, reversing his former direction by taking a parallel route to gain advantage over the pursuers, They have been known to climb one tree and descend down a adjoining one and then take off again in another direction. The pursuing dogs arrive at the false tree and give the word that they have forced their prey up into the limbs. Here the dogs start to use a different message voice to talk to their master. It is a steady ruff, ruff, ruff to notify everyone that they had now treed their prey. While the chase is still in progress the hunters pick a dry piece of real estate and lean their back against an oak tree and listen to the music as the race becomes hotter and hotter. If the weather were raw and cold they would sometimes build a fire to take the chill off and maybe take a sip of hot coffee made in a saucepan over the hot coals. There was no rush to go to the tree and check on the dogs because this old raccoon has played many tricks on a younger pack before. George remarks, "that we'll just wait and give Old Red a chance to size up the situation". As Red was not joining into the announcement at the base of the tree gave a hint that he smelled a trick. After several minutes had passed the familiar notes of Big Red came loud and clear that he had located the new route Mr Coon had used to make his timely escape. With the yawl sound of Red, George jumps to his feet and gives numerous sharp yells of yea, yea, telling the other dogs to give help and join in with the renewed chase. After a good hour or so later when the dogs almost went out of hearing distance towards 72 Harrell Siding they again started to return back to area where they made the original jump. The longer legs of the coon dogs were beginning to take the told over the stumpy legs of the Raccoon. An experienced coon can usually whip a single dog in a one on one battle but against a pack his only defense is to take flight up a tree. The bigger the tree the better it was for the coon. First it presented a better place to hide among the limbs and next it presented a bigger problem for the hunters to fell in the event they wanted the skin and cure the pelt or used the meat for food. On this trip we had no interest in either of these two choices. We were here to socialize and enjoy the music offered by the pack. On the return trip the coon chose to circled back towards us and then used this opportunity to seek and reach his den tree. The dogs were now really heating up the chase as the pursued animal was beginning to loose ground to the longer legs of the pursuer. When the lead dog Ned announced that they had finally forced the coon to seek safety the others soon joined in to form a trio of voices that is quite different from that given while trailing and chasing and then treeing. Arriving at the place that the dogs were located we used the five-cell flashlight to shine and scan up and down the trunk to find where the coon may be hiding. A tell-tell give-away is that when the powerful light meet the small beady eyes they will reflect the light back towards the light. This is a dead giveaway as to where the coon is located. On a few occasions you may find more than one coon up a single tree in the branches when the bright light gives the impression of a tall Christmas tree. On one occasion we found a sow coon with five of her young in the tip-top of a den tree. The coon dogs were very disappointed when we put on their leads and headed back to the house. Tonight the initial search yielded a negative result. A search on the opposite side of the large tree located about half way up a large hole that indicating a nice hollow in the main trunk of this mighty oak and was available there for the prey to disappear into. Mr Raccoon had proven to be smarter than the hunters tonight so we tossed our sack over our back and headed back towards the warm fireside. It had been a great chase with the dogs working together as a skilled team. Next time you decided to go listen to the music that is given out by a pack of coon dogs I knew where you can find a boar coon that will always give you an exciting and challenging chase. WALTOM SCHOOL--- At one time a schoolhouse on the right side of SR #1248 a couple miles north east of Harrell siding intersection was called the Wahtom "Wal Tom" School. After the school closed the building was converted into a dwelling. Later in the 1930's it gained the reputation of being a flophouse and a house of ill repute. As young boys we would stake out the house and wait and watch while men we knew came and went as they paid a short visit as guest with the ladies that lived there. After saving up some money consisting of small change of pennies, nickels, dimes and a few quarters we drew lots to see who would get to make the visit from us boys. After saving for many weeks the reported $2.00 needed we hid in the edge of the woods beside the dirt road and odd man (really very young teen age boys) out, in order to select the person that would have the honors. I must report that the lucky guy could not muster-up enough nerve to approach and knock on the door in fear of what would happen to him if they he should snatched and pulled inside the front entrance. The location was about three miles from Kelford. Occasionally we would see someone we knew visit and exit place. We would move out of the brush and stand a short way down the road and flag the person down to get a ride back to town. They always answered the question as to what we were doing out there in the country. We would reply by saying, "we were looking for blackberries and had gotten tired back there and decided to return home when we saw you come along". Needless to say he was relieved to known that maybe we had not seen him leave the Wahtom House. Sitting in the back seat we were as quite as a mouse on the ride back to town trying our best not to reveal our big secrete. In those days it was no problem catching a ride to almost any place you need to go. To turn down a known hitchhiker was a big no-no. JAMES HARRELL PROPERTY--- Of interest is an old land deed by James Harrell who sold property to one of my distant relatives Absolom Rawls on the 30 January 1779 in Bertie County. This was a certain track of land containing sixty-seven aces on the north side of Waltom Pocosin and also refereed to as Waltom Pastures. This is probably the same area where the Rawls School was located per information found in the minutes of the Bertie Co. School Board's meeting in 1926 when they drew-up the boundaries for the Roxobel-Kelford School district and referred to the area in these minutes as the Rawls School District. Of interest here is the family of Council Harrell, who at one time lived in the house that later bought by Rowland Parker. After Council died his widow Lou Hedgespeth Harrell sold the property and moved to the corner of Harrell and Middle Street on the "Hill" in Kelford. As of date the parents of Council have not been identified. In all probabilities James Harrell could have been his ancestor. More research needed here! THE MUDDY ROANOKE RIVER--- The mighty and then muddy Roanoke River was first named the Morratock by the American Indians. The word meant muddy water. The Roanoke empties into Batchelor Bay about eight miles due east of the mouth of the Cashie River. The Roanoke borders and flows along the entire southeastern shoreline of Bertie County. As you travel southwestwardly for nearly ten miles upstream we find where it joins up with Welch Creek that enters from the left bank and is constitutes the dividing county line between Washington and Martin Counties. The town of Plymouth in Washington County is located on the left bank about three miles downstream and east of Welch Creek. It is here that the Pulp Mill releases that horrible order from the manufactory of pulp that is made into paper. As you travel upstream past Welch Creek the left bank is Martin and on the right side continues as Bertie County. JAMESVILLE FISHERY--- The town of Jamesville in Martin County is positioned along beside the river's edge. The dock is a popular boat landing, Cypress Grill Restaurant and Fishery. The famous Cypress Grill serves fresh out of the water such as Herrin, Shad, Rock and Fish Roe during the spring migration of these fish. Positioned on the opposite bank was the old fish house and landing for the Jamesville Fishery. A 30 degree slanted board dock was constructed at waters edge and was used to pull and harvest the fish in the large pound net. When retrieved the net was pulled up onto and then across the wooden dock here hopefully you would have hundreds of fish that are now dumped into a deep trough that ran parallel to the river. Once the fish are safely in the trough they are scooped up with a snow shovels into bushel baskets and placed into the cold storage fish shed. Some are scooped into a flat bottom boat and sent over to the landing where anxious customers awaited the chance to purchase by the bushel or by the dozen count. The boatman would string the purchased fish onto a piece of bailing wire that was twisted together to make a loop and thus a convenient carrying handle for the buyer. I have known the price to vary for a penny a fish to ten dollars a hundred depending on the supple at that time. The netting of the fish was quite simple but also unique. A 100-yard net was loaded into a motor powered skiff and headed upstream abreast of the east bank while bailing out the net from the stern of the boat. When the net was completely released overboard the boat would head toward the west bank while making a big sweeping arc. As the net drifted down stream the boatman returned a long towrope back to the dock. The tow rope that was attached to the pound net that had cork float at the top and lead weighs at the bottom was hitched to the draw bar of a Farmall "M" tractor that proceeded to retrieve the pound net toward the shore. Prior to tractor power oxen or mules were used to retrieve the net. As the net was retrieved it formed a large looping circle that trapped the fish inside the formed purse. When a haul was to heavy to drag it up on the slanted landing dock all in one haul the net would be cut (divided) into smaller portions. Cutting the net did not mean that the netting was actually cut. A long gaff was used to snag the bottom of the net every ten or so feet so as to bring a small portion of the net ashore so as to have smaller quantity of fish that was now manageable and them could be brought up the ramp and into the through. It was always great news to learn the net had to be cut several times during each haul. Along with the spring run of fish there was the danger of the low grounds flooding. When this occurred all operation ceased. During the run of herring people would come from miles away to buy and have a cookout on the banks across from the fishery. Some would come for the day while others camped there for several days. It was quite a sight to be there and see the smoke rising into the air from the numerous campsites as they cooked the freshly caught fish, roe and cornbread over an open fire. DEVIL GUT--- Devils Gut returns to the river after creating a moon shaped island about eight miles long and five miles wide before it joins the Roanoke a few miles above the Jamesville Landing. Garners Creek flows into the Roanoke about mid way between the entrance and exit. Garners Creek flows past highway 64 where there is a boat landing that was operated by a friend Monroe. This was a great place to larch your boat in the summer after you left work and the days were long enough to let you catch a few brim before darkness closed the window on a day of fun. A REAL FISHING MACHINE--- There is a sharp bend in the river about halfway upstream from this exit. There was a point in the river where a fishing machine was constructed and operated during the Herrin migration in the spring. Whoever heard of a fishing machine? It was a man made contraption that is anchored to the riverbank with a cable fore and aft and positioned in the bend of the river where an eddy flow to crated by a swirling movement of the water. The currents at this point would create a whirlpool effect causing the water to start flowing upstream in the opposite direction. Two flat bottom skiffs were positioned on each side of a boxy four- foot wide by ten foot long scoop net made from chicken wire and attached to cedar pole framing, These two skiff have a triangle framing attached to the bottom of the boat to support the axial pole. This wooden pole of twenty feet would rotate around and around and clear the water a couple of feet above the water from one boat to the other. Attached to the middle portion between the two boats was where the two arms of the scooping fishing net extend out about twelve feet. The same net poles were attached to the axial and extended out from the opposite side about twelve feet. Now we have a Farris wheel effect with the net dipping into the river with the current carried it around. After the net section entered the water the flow of the water carried it around and out of the water again where the paddle end would bring in back around again. As it made the trip over and over with a counter clockwise movement the net would scoop up any fish that were traveled that way. The paddleboards would take over and the flow of the river would carry it up, over and then make another scoop. The flat bottom boats on each side would act as the holding box for the catch of fish as they flipped down inside the net and then funneled into a "V" shaped trough that allowed the fish to slide full speed into the bottom of the two skiffs. The danger from this operation is that a large log might come floating down the river and destroy the entire rig. There also was a danger that you could net so many fish it would sink the skiffs. SWEETWATER CREEK--- The upper entry of Devils Gut is just east of Sweetwater Creek. This is a short distance from the Williamston Landing on the Martin Co, side. Highway US 17 drawbridge is positioned at the east end of the town. Mr Spruill that lived in the state owned attendants house would answer the call when the captain sounded his three long blasts from his ship whistle. CONEHO CREEK--- After passing Williamston the Coneho Creek is located above a mile pass Williamston on the Martin side. This body of water branches off as a "Y" from the Roanoke and serves as the drain plain for much of the area in southwestern Martin County. The upper branches extend westward toward the Bog Slade land. This was a few miles from the Rainbow Banks on the Roanoke that was about two miles down stream from Hamilton NC. CONIETT CREEK--- The Coniett Creek exits about five mile up the river on the Right from Bertie County. Indian Creek also called Falling Creek and Deep Run are also on the right. This Creek connects to Simmons Swamp. This property is part of Broad Neck Swamp and Hunting Club. I enjoyed deer and squirrel hunting here at the club for many years. A flood plane of over several miles in width extends from the entrance of the river into the Albemarle Sound and runs parallel along the shores all along the Roanoke River. This made for prime timber and hunting grounds. Before Bug Island and Gaston Dam were constructed the river would flood out of her banks at least one time each spring. These floods caused major disasters on numerous occasions. Road construction in the lowlands was difficult and required lots of labor to maintain them especially in swampy areas where they placed small poles across and in the deeper ruts. People that built their family cabins in the flood basing did not know at the time the problems they would have when the spring thaw came. The only warning was when they noticed the creek had started rising and it was time to move out. Some did not leave and they suffered the consequence. ADDITIONAL BERTIE WATERWAY SANDY BRANCH--- Sandy Branch flows into the Roanoke River and forms the eastern boundaries of Northampton County where it joins Bertie. This small branch originates about eight miles east of the Roanoke and flows between these two adjoining counties until it reaches Hertford Count. Sandy Branch crosses under SR 308 as a small stream while heading northeastward. When you pass over this small stream about two miles northwest of Roxobel you'll find the Sandy Branch Black Baptist Church and their cemetery located on the east side of this highway. Just over the Sandy Branch and the Northampton County line you will see on the right a historic marker in recognition of the renowned Baptist mister Lemuel Burkett giving recognition that he was born nearby. STONY CREEK--- Approximately half way between the Roanoke and Chowan River is the head waterways of Stony Creek. This drainage plain starts about four mile west inside Bertie with the Loosing Swamp heading towards Aulander. Down stream a short way it gains another branch to the right called Beaver Dam Swamp that run parallel to the Hertford county line. It then continues a mile while flowing in a northeast course and then joins up with Quioccosion Swamp that branches off to the left. Here we have three streams joining together as headwater that then flow in a southeast direction before forming Stony Creek that end up in Wiccacon Creek that continues to the Chowan River near Harrellsville in Hertford County. BARBECUE CREEK--- A small stream starts a few miles inside Bertie and crosses the Hertford County boundary line only a few miles east of Stony Creek. The total length of this stream is less than five miles before it leaves Bertie and flows towards Hertford County. Chinkapin SWAMP--- Five or so miles southeast pass Barbecue Creek is Chinkapin Swamp It travels in a southeast direction after it passes over the Hertford County line. Prior to entering Hertford it runs about five miles west and parallel with the Chowan River. About three miles inside Bertie it divides here to the right and now forms a stream of water called Cypress Swamp that continues for another eight or ten miles almost due south and flows between Colerain and Powellsville.
Ahoskie Swamp (1)ohorsque - "horse" Indian or (2)Ahotskey is a mispronounced version of the Skarure word "Rahsuta'?kye" - Rah-soot-Ock-yeh - which literally means, "Our Ancestors" (plural), implying that this is the place where our ancestors lived. This was "King" Blunt's town in the 1700's.
Ahoskie Creek becomes Wiccacon Creek (lower portion of Ahoskie Swamp)
Alegator Marsh near Roquist Pocosin mentioned in Estate record regarding land Wm Freeman bought of John Gray ca 1780. Possibly name came from GAR FISH which has a long snout with teeth on each side of his jaws. They could grow to five or more feet in size and were sometimes called Alligator fish.
Barbeque Swamp E of Powellsville
Batchelor Bay Mouth of Chowan River
Beaverdam Pocosin E of Aulander
Beaverdam Swamp SE of Aulander--Near "Bakertown Road"
Bear Swamp Junction of Merry Hill ,Windsor and White's Township. (Starky Mizell's place)
Bennett's Creek Bennetts Creek is formed by the junction of Duke Swamp, Harrel Swamp, and Raynor Swamp in central Gates Co.(previously Hertford). It flows SW and SE into the Chowan River. Named for Richard Bennett, Governor of VA 1652-1655. Appears on the Ogilby map, 1671. rises above Gatesville near Millpond and flows into the Chowan across from Hertford Co. One time in Bertie County.
Bishop's Hill Pond near the town of Roxobel
Black Walnut Swamp SE corner of Bertie Co...Batchelor Bay and Albemarle Sound
Broadneck Swamp Bend of Roanoke River S of Indian Woods Road
Brown's BranchContinuing from Cashie Branch now called Brown's Branch where it crosses the highway between Kelford and the Kelford-Roxoble High School. It was here the WPA built a bridge for school children to walk over the now much smaller stream".
Buck Branch Joins Conaritsy Swamp and is part of the southern border of Mitchell Township
Buckleberry Pocosin SW Merry Hill E of Windsor, on the south side of Highway 17 just N of intersection Hwy 45 toward Edenton. Bucklesberry is the name of an area, and a swamp, near where the Capehart's lived.
CASHIEIn Bertie time and tongue rendered what was originally written as a three letter word (even found written QUISHIA) into two (CASHIE) but family who moved west early (1750-60s) retained the three syllable pronunciation, pronouncing the name KEZZ-EYE-YUH, (in our case KESH-SHY-YUH).
The spellings most of the branches morphed into eventually were KEZIAH, Contributed by Deborah Cavel-Greant email@example.com
Cashie Swamp S. of Roxobel. N. branch of Cashie River.
"The Cashie River starts at the Albermarle Sound and continues west and passes next to Windsor, NC where it becomes Cashie Swamp. It then continues westward and passes close to the Rhodes Place Crossroad Community. The Cashie swamp then continues west until it splits into two branches with the new branch called WATTON Swamp and continues past Harrell's Siding.
Cashie Branch runs just north of the town limits of Kelford. This branch then continues under the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad treslte and then past the Seaboar Airline Railroad Trestle. It continued and now is called Brown's Branch where it crosses the highway between Kelford and the Kelford-Roxoble High School. It was here the WPA built a bridge for school children to walk over the now much smaller stream".
Located in se Northampton Co and extends to ne Hertford Co where it enters Livermans Mill Pond on Potecasi Creek. Named for an Indian village mentioied in local records (with various spellings) as early as 1718.
It is a swamp-creek that exists to this day and is on the road between St. Johns and Millenium on the way to Aulander. It is a tiny grey colored road on the map.
Chinkapin Swamp W of Colerain Chisky Swamp NW of Windsor now in S Hertford County, flows into Wiccacon River. Also spelled: Chinquapin; Chickapin.
Choowatic Creek SW of Windsor
Cucklemaker Creek (between Todds Road and Ross Baptist Church) S of Conine Creek S of Windsor, between Windsor and Indian Woods
Connaritsa Swamp S of Aulander. Connaritsa Bridge across Cashie River at this location. (Conaritsy variant spelling)
Cricket Swamp located in East central Bertie Co. and flows South into Eastmont Swamp. Probably named for John Crickett who owned land in this area as early as 1727
CUCKLEMAKER SWAMP (Cuckoldmaker) Near Ross Church in Bertie Cypress Swamp W of Colerain Behind Ross Church across on the other side of Wills Quarter Swamp . Cucklemaker crosses under the road between Ross Church and Todd's Cross.
Cypress Swamp A branch from Will's Quarter Swamp near Ross Baptist Church. The Cypress Tree grew in shallow water that was usually found in the low lands where backwaters often stood year round. The name was used for many branches and streams so is found in neighboring counties as well. Depending on the date of a deed, it might now be in Northampton or Hertford.
Dunmoor Branch (Dunmore) Located in E central Bertie Co. and flows N into Cricket Swamp. Northwestern portion of Salmon Creek.
Eastmost Swamp located in East central Bertie and flows South to Salmon Creek.
Flagg Run northwest of Woodville, flows into Roanoke River. Griffin's Mill was located there on Gilmer maps. It is called Flag Run Gut today. It began West North West of the Present town of Lewiston approximately three miles west of town and run in a South South West direction into the Ronoke River at Buzzard Point West South West of Woodville.
Flat Swampp E of AskewvilleFlat Swamp crosses under the road just as you leave Todd's Cross headed toward Green's Cross and then joins Cucklemaker behind the Ross Church area. It is at this juncture that I believe many refer to as Cypress Swamp.
Fort Creek Aulander
Guye's Hall Swamp 1700's. tributary of Cashie River now White Oak Swamp Joins Red-Bud Swamp at junction of Mitchell and Windsor Townships
HIGH HILL BRANCH Crosses Greens Crossroad
Hoggard Mill Creek (Will's Quarter Swamp) N of Windsor
Honey Creek is on the right hand side of Cashie river between the Horseshoe thoughrofare to Roanoke river and the Albermarle sound. It is not very deep and you can only paddle a boat a short distant. If you follow the creek to its end, you will come out on the thoughofare at appx. Roanoke river. It divides the island (surrounded by the Cashie, Middle, Roanoke, Thourghofare and Ablemarle sound) into two land divisions.
HORSE MEADOW North and West of Greens Cross Church
Horse Swamp is just on the left of Hoggard Mill - Greens Crossroad behind the firetower about about a half mile up the Wakelon Road
Indian Creek (S. of Roquist Pocosin - Indian Woods)
Jacks Swamp begins in n Northampton County and flows ne into Virginia where it becomes Fountains Creek. Identified in early maps by Byrd.(1728)
Jack Swamp community on Jack's Creek in n Northampton County from about 1775, when a Quaker Meeting House was built there, until about 1812 by which time most of the people had moved to central North Carolina and Ohio.
Jumping Run In the Woodville area and sometimes referred to as Flag Run Gut. On the north end of Jumping Run Creek is Dempsey Bridge(not actually a bridge, but a flat path that the water from Jumping Run ran across that
had a hard bottom and would hold a horse and cart from sinking) It empties into Griffin's Mill Pond and into Flag Run Gut/Wharf.
The origin of the name is said to be due to impassable swampland for which poles were cut to lay across to provide a road bed. Only a "good" mule could make it across and then only if th driver would "jump and run along" beside him. "Jump and Run" became, over time, Jumping Run.
Kesiah See Cashie above.
Little Beach Neck Swamp on Walnut Point - Batchelor Bay
Looking Glass Swamp "Looking Glass Swamp" was also known as "Arthur's Swamp," A deed of 1729 "Looking Glass Swamp" was defined as SS Morattuck [Roanoke] River, a survey made for William Gray and by him "lapsed" then granted to John Gray on Apr 1, 1727, who on May 13, 1729 sells to RICHARD LEWIS. Kay G. By a 1741 deed this land was now located in Edgecombe County.
Loosing Swamp flows ne into Stony Creek in central part of county
Meherrin River in Hertford County.
Marvel Swamp Tributary of Cucklemaker Swamp, a branch of Hoggard Mill Swamp. Marvel Swamp joins Cucklemaker just before it reaches the road between Ross Church and Todd's Cross    Story about Marvel Swamp
Morrattock River = Roanoke River, Morratock is old Indian name.
Opposum Branch Border of Woodville Township and Snakebite Township
Pell Mell Pocosin W of Elm Grove
Piney Woodsin Beaverdam Pocosin (a/k/a/ Heart's Delight northwest Bertie Co
Poplar Branch First branch off Will's Quarter Swamp (Hoggard's Mill).
Red Bud Branch near Askewville (Mitchell's Township) joins Guye's Hall Swamp near joining of Windsor Township
Purchace Island Named on Smith map of 1624, and is made up of 9 islands. Location is at meeting of Roanoke and Cashie River where Bertie, Martin and Washington County Lines meet.
Quarter Swamp (once Bertie) Central Northampton County. Flows se into Urahaw Swamp
Quiocasin Swamp S of Powellsville flows into Stoney Creek(variant spellings: Qutocquison; Qutoccoson; Quiocosson.
Quinine Swamp in nw Bertie and flows se into Roanoke River
Potecasi Creek (Variants: Potakasy) Now in Hertford County flows from Meherrin River. On the early maps of Bertie County.
Red Bud Branch tributary of Guys Hall near present Askewville (1743). Buena Vista on Hwy. 13 North of Windsor towards Ahoskie.
Roquist Creek (From Woodville to Windsor)ra'?kwihs (pronounced raw-ock-kwess) means Turtle Clan
Roquist Pocosin (S of Roquist Creek) "Roquist Swamp"
Sandy RunLocated on the boundary a mile from Roxobel between Bertie and Northampton Co. It flowed into the Roanoke River.
Sandy Point Area of land south of Salmon Creek to the Roanoke River...on shore of Chowan River. Designated as such in early maps of 1682 and 1684.
Salmon Creek East part of Bertie County flowing SE into Chowan River. Probably named after an early settler. Shown on earliest maps.
Stoney Creek in NE Bertie and flows N into Hertford County where it enters Ahoskie Creek.
Sucking Hole Branch tributary of White Oak Swamp (near Buena Vista)
Timber Branch Meeting place for Bertie County Court in 1741 when Northampton was formed which encompassed the first county seat location.
TURKEY SWAMP Between US Hwy. 17 and Greens Crossroad, branch of Cashie River.
Tuscarora Spring Near Woodville. Northeast of Dempsey's Bridge and Flag Run Gut. A Pavilion was built there in 1850's and used for dances in the spring and summer. Mentioned in Dr. Charles Smallwood's early diaries and also provided a sketch.
Uneroy Marshes (Also known as Runiori or Runiroy)(S of Quitna
- Coniotte meets near Roanoke River)Margaret Devereux in his book "Plantation Sketches", calls her place on the Roanoke River "Runiroi",near Woodville, which was later called
Devereux Runiroi probably was a
Tuscarora town near the old Devereux plantation. A land patent of 1721
uses the word Runaroy Path. Bertie deeds as late as the early 1800s
refer to Flag Run as on Runaroy Meadow or Swamp. Wayne Modlin from
Indian Woods suggests that Runaroy Path referred to what is now Indian
Woods Road, including the road that goes through Woodville to Flag Run.
Runaroy Path would have been an
Indian Trail when early white settlers started taking out land grants.
(Deborah Cavel-Greant firstname.lastname@example.org) The accent mark after a vowel means the voice lifts. The 'ock' to represents the glottal stop in the pronunication. Think of the sound between the syllables in uh-oh.
Here there are a number of choices, none of which fit Runaroy exactly, but you can take your choice... The Tuscarora trilled their r's at the end of words, as do the Italians.
runa'wher (pronounced roona'-ffarr) high-bush blueberry
rune,hn`u:re,'? (pronounced rooneh-hin-'oo-ri-ock) White Oak
runya'?rha?r (pronounced roon-yaw'-ock-rhaw-ockrr) golden robin
runehu'hu (pronounced rooneh-hoo'-hoo) turtledove
Uraha Swamp(Urahaw) Northampton County (once Bertie) flowing into Potecasi Creek. In some land records as early as 1719. It is about a mile south of Potecasi community on Highway 35. The swamp runs along the NW edge of the Woodland community.
Village Swamp Possibly where today is located Village Gate which is south of Woodville, between Hill's Ferry and Taylors Ferry which is present day Hwy 11 South
Wading Place Creek (E of Windsor)
Watering Hole Branch
Wattom Swamp Flows out of Cashie River as it goes northward. Wattom (also Whattom) flows northward to just below present day Roxobel. The Cashie Swamp as it continues west splits into two branches with the new branch called WATTON Swamp and continues past Harrell's Siding - Roxobel.
Whiteoak Swamp W of Askewville (near Wiccacon Creek) 1700's known as Guys Hall Swamp Just south of Buena Vista crossroads
White Oak Pocosin is on the road from Windsor to Askewville and eventually drains into Cashie Swamp.
Wiccacon Creek (lower portion of Ahoskie Swamp)
Wiccacon River South Hertford County, where small streams in Hoggard Swamp converge. Flows into Chowan River and is about 17 miles long.
Called Weecaunse Creek on Moseley Map 1733. Other spellings: Veecaune Creek, Wiccacon Creek.
Wildcat Swamp SW of Powellsville . Flows northwest into Loosing Swamp.
Will's Quarter Swamp (Hoggard Mill Creek) N of Windsor (named for William Byrd who had some land interest in the area)
Flat Swamp E of Askewville Whiteoak Swamp W of Askewville
Connaritsa Swamp S of Aulander Beaverdam Pocosin E of Aulander Beaverdam Swamp SE of Aulander
Barbeque Swamp E of Powellsville Quiocasin Swamp S of Powellsville Loosing Swamp SW of Powellsville Wildcat Swamp SW of Powellsville Eason Swamp SW of Powellsville
Will's Quarter Swamp (Hoggard Mill Creek) N of Windsor Choowatic Creek SW of Windsor Chisky Swamp NW of Windsor Wading Place Creek (E of Windsor)
Chinkapin Swamp W of Colerain Cypress Swamp W of Colerain
Broadneck Swamp Bend of Roanoke River S of Indian Woods Road Roquist Pocosin (S of Roquist Creek) Roquist Creek (From Woodville to Windsor)
(written by James Cowan, 81, a native of Bertie County who now lives just across the line in Hertford County. He writes articles for the Bertie Ledger and has given us permission to use his articles on- line.Set out to locate Marvel Swamp and you're in trouble. It isn't named on your map and few can direct you. If you find it you'll be disappointed--unless you happen to be a Bertie County genealogist.
In the year 1760 an illiterate planter named Mordecai White received a royal grand of land in Bertie County and thus spawned an interest in Marvel Swamp among family researchers which continues today.
Received from Lord Granville, British representative and himself owner of thousands of acres, the grant was 420 acres of "vacant" (unclaimed) land. The tract, more than half a square mile in area, lay in Pell Mell Pocosin bounded by Morben(Marvel) Branch and by lands belonging to George Newborn and Jonathan Miller.
Purchase price was the English equivalent of $200 in modern currency and an annual quitrent of $350. Rent was to be paid semiannually forever. Any gold or silver discovered was to be shared by Lord Granville To date no gold or silver has been found and "forever" lasted only to the American Revolution around 1776.
The word "vacant" applied to Pell Mell Pocosin at that time did not apply to trees. It was a vast magnificent forest of longleaf an dloblolly pines growing just as God made them with here and there a clearing referred to in old deeds as "the meadows of Pell Mell".
Covering most of north central Bertie's Pell Mell Pocosin was bounded by Wills Quarter Swamp (modern Hoggard Mill Swamp) on the east, Loosing Swamp on the west, Cashie River and its tributaries on the south and Stoney Creek and Hertford County on the north. On today's map the pocosin has dwindled to the Elm Grove-Holly Grove-Askewville area.
The MacRae-Brazier state map as late as 1833 showed no road through the pocosin. That map showed a road leading from Windsor to Pitch Landing in Hertford County skirting the western side of the pocosin. Another road skirting the southeast side of the great woods ran from Windsor north of Wills Quarter Swamp (approximate course of Bull Hill Road today) toward Colerain.
The late Judge Francis Winston, Bertie historian who never published his history, said the name Pell Mell was a parody on the Pall mall section, then a fashionalbe borough of the city of London. Hence the name applied to an isolated backwoods or its settlers was a term of derision. To call a native a "Pell Meller" was to invite a fight or a riot until recent times.
So then there were few natural boundaries in the Pell Mell woods, also called Piney Woods and Big Woods. There were no roads and few streams in the interior. Thus few permanent land boundary markers.
Hence the importance of Morben (now Marvel) Branch mentioned above as one of Mordecai White's land boundaries. In old deeds that name was variously spelled Morben, Morbin, and in a 1748 deed from George Gould to Jonathan Miller it was spelled Morville.
One deed in 1792 also mentioned a "Morben Hill near Pell Mell Pocosin". After 1800 it was generally marvel, possibly a shortened form of Morville.
Marvel is a tributary of Cucklemaker Swamp, a branch of Hoggard Mill Swamp, known earlier as Wills Quarter Swamp. In Mordecai White's day before pollution and farm chemicals it must have been a pretty little stream more worthy of its name. Today as it ventures out into the remnants of Pell Mell woods, it is little more than a ditch as it courses through cutovers and patches of reeds and catclaw briars, finally runs about three miles and disappears near New Road (so-called more than a century) between Askewville and Elm Grove.
But it is still a natural boundary for numerous land tracts. perhaps the oldest title for land continuously owned by the same family wasissued in 1842 by Gavin H. Mitchell to Sarah Jernigan, his daughter, who willed it to her nephew, Lenard Powell, whose descendants own it today. The deed described 100 acres on Marvel Swamp selling for $300.
A proliferation of John, William and Meady Whites have researchers scratching their heads today and perhaps perplexing St. Peter himself at the Golden Gate.
About the time Mordecai White was establishing his family, one Israel Outhouse also owned land in the area. Notable mostly for his unusual name, Outhouse founded no known family, died or moved away and is of no interest to modern researchers.
Another family of equal interest to that of the Whites to Bertie genealogists is the Hughes family which also had its roots on Marvel Swamp.
Dated March 5, 1818, a deed from Jesse Halsey to Henry Hughes described a 65 acre tract on Marvel bounded by land of Reuben Harrison, William J. Newborn and John Butler. Price $100. This land became the homestead of Henry Hughes. (Henry I to some researchers) who married Charlot White, a descendant of Mordecai, in 1806 and raised 10 children including Henry Hudson Hughes. Thus there were two Henry Hughes and two generations of that family to confuse researchers.
Henry Hudson Huges (1818-1883) married Marry Ann Allen (1839-1858) and they also raised 10 children. Both generations were very prolific.
For example, Martha "Patty" Huges, daughter of Henry I, married Joseph Worley Cowand in 1856 and they had 12 children. No genealogical survey will be attempted here, however.
(Recently I received froma a genealogist friend a 31 page single spaced listing of direct Hughes descendants. And perhaps 200 more have been born sine then. A sizeable but inestimable percentage of native Bertie Countians are descended from or related to this family.
The site of the Hughes homestead lies on Polly Road between Ross Church and Askewville. Polly Road, which crosses Marvel Swamp, is a misnomer for Thunder Hole Road which it was called by local citizens for 150 years. The Thunder Hole, located where the road crosses Marvel is about 150 yards from the site. The Thunder Hole was a popular fishing and swimming hole for local boys before bathing suits were invented.
(When I was there recently the hole was so overgrown with grass and weeds that a catfish couldn't swim in it. And the legendary site of the Hughes dwelling was covered by a huge chicken house.)
Along Marvel Swamp today bullfrogs and whippoorwills are silent. But the restless spirits of long departed Hugheses, Whites, Cowands, Harrisons, Mizelle and Butlers rustle catclaws and reeds. And the shae of a lone Israel Outhouse.
There was, and this is only a part of the stuff you'll learn when you join the growing ranks of genealogists in Bertie. You'll learn about the pocosins and branches and piney woods and the people who inhabit them. You'll find some of the real history of Bertie, the kid that never gets in books.
For example, you might try to trace your great-great-grandfather Horsless and find that he owned land on Guys Hall Swamp back in the 1700s. You'll also find that this stream is now extinct, at least in name.
The name goes back as far as 1726 when James Castellow received a royal grant of 640 acres on the "East side of Cashy Swamp in Guys Hall Woods". Guys Hall the swamp, a tributary of Cashie River, was so named by many generations until recent times when it somehow became White Oak Swamp. (I am one of the few left who still call it Guys Hall) It is crossed by U.S. 13 just south of Beuna Vista crossroads, a name that goes back as far as the 1850s but is of unknown origin.
You'll find that another of the oldest land grant in Bertie was issued to John Collins for 400 acres on the east side of Guys Hall Swamp in 1739. According to old court records, the County Court met at Collin's home on Red Bud Branch, a tributary of Guys Hall near the present Askewville in 1743.
Collins wrote one of the longest and most noteworthy wills of record in Bertie, particularly for its unique spelling. Collins left hundreds of acres of land to his seven sons, two of whom he also left "each a Bible". None of this land is listed in the Collins anme today.
Joseph Collins, son of John, later issued a deed to William Hoggard for 208 acres on Guys Hall "Beginning at a white oak on the west side of the Swmap, running the old line to a wolfpit, thence running Watering Hole Branch to King Freeman's line...etc
Sucking Branch also was a tributary of Guys Hall. The wolfpit is mentioned in other old deeds and may indicate that Bertie was inhabited by wolves in the early days.
Another unusual name you might encounter in your ancestor research is the unspellable Quotoccoson (pronounced QWOCK-a-son) Swmap. This name was recorded in 1740 in a 500 acre royal land grant to William Blye. Here the name was spelled Qutoggison.
A Confederate Army Engineer map drawn in 1862 spelled it Qutocquison. A modern state highway map spells it Quioccosion. A builder's plaque on the bridge at the US #13 crossing in 1938 spells it Quiocosson. Take your choice.
To date, the county fathers haven't seen fit to change this name. Perhaps they could change it to "Ucanspelit Swamp" and it would still have an Indian twang.
This stream is crossed by US 13 two miles south of Powellsville and is part of the Stoney Creek drainage system.
Again, when you're searching for your great-great-uncle Heckler's court record, you might run into this little item from minutes of the Bertie County Court. "Mrs. Preedam informing the court that John Hobbs contrary to the Peace and in a riotous manner rode over a boy on the bridge before the Courth House with a Jugg of Rum on his head which was split and broke.
It is ordered that said John Hobbs be fined the sum of 8 lbs. 16 shillings (about $38 modern) and cost to be paid to said Preedam and that he be given security of 10 lbs. (about $32.50) for good behavior until next Court."
The court clerk was probably so amused that he failed to make clear whether it was the boy's head or the jugg of fum which was split and broken or what the said Hobbs ran over him with.
Anyway, this earth shaking event was recorded during Nov term 1740 of court which was held at Timber Branch, probably in what is now Hertford Co.
Subscriptions are: $15.90 (this includes the NC tax) $25 for out of state subscriptions.. Published every Thursday Bertie Ledger-Advance P.O. Drawer 69 Windsor, NC 27983
At these landings, licensed ferries (see Haun's Court Minutes) were often established as well as public warehouses. In the late 1700's Bertie County merchants were exporting tars, pitch, turpentine, and shingles via the Albemarle Sound and Hatteras Inlet to West Indies and England.
Until the railroads arrived in 1889, the river transportation steamers carried freight as well as passengers to Norfolk and Chesapeake Bay on a regular basis. Some boats arriving in Windsor were: Currituck, the Plymouth, the Mayflower, the Bertie, and the Lucy. In 1913 a passenger steamer(Olive)disaster on the Chowan killed 17 people.
Ordered that Mrs. Pearson be allowed for ferrying to Edenton, for man and horse ten dollars if more than one man and horse six dollars, for a foot man 5 dollars, and if more than one footman 3 dollars and an half, for single carriage horse and man fifteen dollars and so in proportions. [ Mouth of Salmon Creek where it spills into Bachelors Bay. Mrs. Pearson is shown on the plat of Duckenfeild taken in 1763. There is also a Jaycocks living where Scotch Hall is today on the . there is also a Dawson home on this same plat of Duckenfeilds. This is shown about a mile or two north of Mrs. Pearson, across Salmon Creek, and south of Eden House Point. Not sure about Mrs. Fry but it implies she must have lived a little north of Mrs. Dawson if they both could ferry arcoss to Millers.]
Ordered that Jona Jacocks, Esq be allowed the same Ferriages as Mrs. Pearson [living where Scotch Hall is today on the south side of Black Walnut point, and only about a mile south of Mrs. Pearson]
Ordered that Mrs. Catherine Fry be allowed for ferrying across Chowan, a man and horse 5 dollars, if more than on, four dollars, for a footman three dollars, if more than one 2 dollars, for a single chair, man and horse nine dollars and so in proportion. [must be a little north of Mrs. Dawson]
Ordered that Mrs. Dawson be allowed the same as Mrs. Pearson to Edenton and if to Millers the same as Mrs. Fry. [This is shown about a mile or two north of Mrs. Pearson, across Salmon Creek, and south of Eden House Point.]
Coleraine Wharf Burke Holley Landing - Junction of White's and Colerain Township Goose Pond Landing Point Comfort Landing Bess Landing Mt. Gould Wharf Steele Landing Jernigan's Landing Willow Branch Landing Black Rock Landing Eden House Fisher Bal-Gra Landing Capehart's Fishery
Lewis Cotton's landing (junction of Woodville and Roxobel Township Line) Norfleet's Ferry Shad Landing Wood's Landing Eason Island Landing Griffin Quarter Landing Sand Bar Landing Flag Run Landing Spring Gut Landing Devereaux Landing (at mouth of Bridger's Creek. Earlier known as Pulhams Ferry (1770); Pollock's Ferry(1833). Hills Ferry Apple Tree Landing Thompson's Ferry Coniott Landing Quitsna Landing Old Mill Landing Speller's Landing Jordan's Landing Cedar Landing Mooring Landing Hyman's Ferry (to Plymouth)
At some of these landings public warehouses were established and at some of them the owners were licensed to keep ferries. In the 18th century, by these river highways, residents and merchants in Bertie County were conducting business with the West Indies and England. The vessels coming and going through the Albemarle Sound and Hatteras inlest. Among the items being exported at this time were tars, pitch, turpentine, staves and shingles.
Baltimore LandingTurn down Rhode's Lane beside the Heritage House and go through the Harrell Farm to the old Rhodes place on the river to reach "Baltimore Landing." So named by Mrs. Foreman of Elizabeth City as the story goes. It is the first landing upon leaving Windsor going down river on the left hand side. Gray's Landing (now Windsor) Jacock's Landing Blackman's Landing Dr. Lennox's Landing
Until the coming of the railroads in 1889 most of the commercial fertilizer for the Bertie farms was shipped into the county ghrough these river landings, and a large amount of the farm products left for the market in this manner. Steamers carrying freight and passengers plied the Roanoke, Chowan and Cashie Rivers on regular runs to Norfolk and the Chesapeake Bay are well into the 20th century.
The names of some of these boats which had regular scheduled calls at Windsor were the Currituck, the Plymouth, the Mayflower, the Bertie and the Lucy. One of the worst disasters of the last years of these passenger steamers was the sinking of the steamboat Olive in the Chowan in 1913 with the loss of 17 lives.
Brief abstract of an article from THE STATE, May 1992, a magazine about N. C., and you can decide. A CABLE ACROSS by Shirleyan Beacham Phelps Take a trip to one of N.C.'s remaining two-car cable ferries - Sans Souci, Elwell-Carvers Creek Ferry and Parker's Ferry - and you'll get a good idea of how we take the simple things like crossing a river for granted these days. It takes only about five minutes to cross the ...Cashie River at Sans Souci Ferry in Bertie County...All it takes is a toot of the horn to summon a ferry tender from the opposite river bank. The cable-drawn ferry crossings aren't found on official state maps... SANS SOUCI William Powell's N.C. Gazetteer describes Sans Souci as the name of an early plantation, which in French means 'without care or worry.' Folks use the ferry across the Cashie (one of the few rivers in the state whose complete course is in one county) as a short cut to Williamston or Windsor. N.C. DOT records indicate Sans Souci has been operating only a few decades, but local folks...say ferry service in the vicinity began as early as the 1600s. Old deeds indicate the neighborhood was once a prominent Indian site before the arrival of the white man. The ferry, just off N.C. 308 between Windsor and N.C. 45, operates daily from March 16 to Sept 15 from 6;30 a.m. to 6 p.m.Norfleet's Ferry
WILL'S QUARTER BRIDGE Located near the Cashy Bridge and Castellaw's Mill Pond.
Also, the word "Ahotskey" is often assumed to mean horse, but it does not. The Skarure word for horse is "ahawth". Ahotskey is a mispronounced version of the Skarure word "Rahsuta'?kye" - Rah-soot-Ock-yeh - which literally means, "Our Ancestors" (plural), implying that this is the place where our ancestors lived. This was "King" Blunt's town in the 1700's.
(This is a start on village names. I can't guarantee they are 100% correct, but they are probably pretty close. )
Name - Alternate spelling - Skaure spelling = English translation Ressootska - Rehorseky "Rahsuta'?kye" = Our Ancestors lived here Taughousie - "tuhke,'yhnu:?" = Little River Cauteghna - Cotechney "kahtehnu?a':ka:?" = Loblolly-pine-is-in-water Kintaigh - Kenta "kine,ha'?he,?" = Many Creeks Unaghnaranara - "una?kw`e:ya?" = Cattails Tasqui - Tastiahk - "tiwahsa':kye:" = So many feet Ohaunooc - = Where boats go in the water Toherooka - "tuher'hkwah" = So grassy Fort Neoheroka - "-ne- heruke," = Broken Pasture Rarookshee - "wa?ruh'-cre,h" = Gathering place Caurookehoe - Cheroohoka "ciru?e,ha':kaka:?" = Nottaway's town
Please send comments and suggestions to or Virginia Crilley email@example.com
Last update:Tuesday, 22-Sep-2009 10:48:26 MDT
Return to the Bertie County Main Page