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Riggan Family of Ireland, Virginia and North Carolina
from an article by
Murphy Dean Riggan of Warrenton, North Carolina

I have been compiling the Riggan Family History since 1975. I have searched the records of Warren County Courthouse, the Warren County Library, the Granville County Courthouse and Library, the Surry County, Virginia, Courthouse, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Courthouse, the North Carolina State Historical Archives and have shared many hours of interviews with senior relatives that have since passed away. The information received from these sources pretty accurately comprises the History of the Riggan Family. The following is a brief summary of the ancestry of the Riggan Family.

Francis B. Riggan Sr., born in 1730, is the earliest Riggan Family member recorded in the Warren County Records. He is descended from Daniel Riggan from Cork County, Ireland. Daniel and his family arrived in North America at Surry, Virginia, around 1650. Surry records show Daniel and his family (then spelled REGAN) living in Surry, Virginia. Early Warren County records show Francis living on Hubquarter Creek in Old Granville County, which later became Bute County, and later Warren County. This area is located just north east of the present Church Cross Roads near Lake Gaston. He owned 180 acres deeded to him by his wife's father. Francis married Mary Pegram in 1759 and they had two sons and three daughters.

He carried chains as a Surveyor for Thomas Person, Surveyor for Lord Granville. In 1769 Francis was appointed Surveyor of Roads in Bute County, and in 1777 he was appointed Tax Assessor for Bute County. In 1779 he was one of the original petitioners who signed "The Petition for the Division of Bute County", which was ratified and led to the formation of Warren and Franklin Counties. Francis died in Warren County in 1818.

Francis B. Riggan's son, Francis B. Riggan, Jr., was born in 1764. He joined the North Carolina Militia from Warren County in 1781 and served as a Private during the American Revolution. He married Ann Harris in 1789 and they had five sons and a daughter. In 1832 he applied for a pension granted by the Government for veterans of the Revolutionary War. His application was approved, and he received an annual pension of $20.00. Later in the 1800s the Riggan family bought land and settled in Mountain View, North Carolina, which was just north of Embro. The majority of the population of Mountain View were Riggans. They ran a grist mill on Reedy Creek and pastored the Reedy Creek Baptist Church. John Wilburn Riggan was the Postmaster in 1879. Following him were Postmasters, Eudora B. Riggan in 1906, Ruby A. Riggan and Ella B. Riggan in 1923. The city was abolished in 1929 with mail moved to Macon, North Carolina. Mountain View Cemetery, the final resting place of several early Warren county Riggans, is all that remains of Mountain View.

Although many of the Riggans moved outside of the area into surrounding counties and states, ten generations later, several of the descendants still live in Warren County within fifteen miles of the original Hubquarter Creek ancestral home.

I trace my lineage from the following ancestors.

 1. Daniel Riggan born Cork County, Ireland 1626. Died Surry County, VA, 1686.
  2. Francis Riggan born Cork County, Ireland 1650. Died Surry County, VA, 1727.
   3. Joseph Riggan Jr. born Isle of Wight County, VA, 1712. Died Bute County, NC, 1770.
    4. Francis B. Riggan Sr. born Old Granville County 1735. Died Warren County, NC, 1818.
     5. Francis B. Riggan Jr. born Warren County 7 Mar. 1764. Died Warren County, NC, 25 Aug. 1846.
      6. Joseph H. Riggan born Warren County Jul. 1798. Died Warren County, NC, 11 Dec. 1873.
        7. John Wilburn Riggan born Warren County 22 Aug. 1826. Died Warren County, NC, 3 Feb. 1908.
          8. John Dallas Riggan born Warren County 7 Mar. 1857. Died Warren County, NC, 9 Oct. 1937.

I began my family history research around 1980 by visiting my oldest living relative, my Grandma, Eva Powell Riggan. I wrote down as many names of relatives as she could give me (which was quite extensive, for she was very knowledgeable about the family and had a remarkable memory). From there I researched the documents at the Warren County register of deeds office, (birth certificates, death records, land grants and wills). I also visited many other relatives and recorded their accounts, as well as some old Bible entries that were property of some. These included personal interviews with Grandma Eva's sons, John Wilburn Riggan III, his mother Dolee, Jack Riggan and his wife Blanch, who parented about sixteen children scattered all over the U.S., and Josephine Riggan Moore (daughter of Christopher Nicholas Riggan from Mountain View, NC).

Josephine had the original Bible of her father's, which had lots of entries in it. She would not let me leave with it, so I spent three hours sitting in the swing on the front porch copying the information out of it. John Wilburn Riggan III was very helpful in telling me many stories about my ancestors, as well as showing me the Mountain View Cemetery, his family cemetery near his home place, the location and remains of Chris Riggan's home place, the old grist mill on Reedy Creek, the post office, general store and church that once stood at Mountain View, North Carolina, which was run almost entirely by the Riggan family.

Chris's home place was located almost directly across Reedy Creek Road from Mountain View Cemetery, with the grist mill located on the same side of the road down hill, closer to Reedy Creek. The water that turned the mill wheel did not come from the creek, but rather from a pond located above Chris's house. It was diverted via an aqueduct and a ditch that was dug running from the pond, went past his house and down to the mill, discharging into the creek. I believe he told me that the store and church stood on the other side of the road across from the mill. All of Chris Riggan's land, including the cemetery was inherited by Chris's daughter, Carie Mae. My grandfather, Joe Riggan, inherited eighteen acres behind the cemetery, and John W. Riggan inherited the property behind and toward the creek.

Grandma Eva Riggan's home, about an acre, was located on the corner of the Macon and Embro Road and the Odell Road. Later on it was sold, the house and all were bulldozed away and a double wide trailer was set on the lot. Even the grave of my brother, which was not registered, located on the power line right of way parallel with the Odell Rd was destroyed. Grandma Riggan had agreed to let the baby be buried on her property when he died.

I continued with my research in the family history by visiting the Granville County Courthouse, where the records of "old Granville County" are kept in the basement, because Warren County used to be Granville. Also I visited the courthouse at Surry, Virginia, county seat of Surry County, where the records of Francis and Daniel Riggan are located. This was their home when they arrived here from Ireland in the mid-1600s.

When the internet became available, I was able to research many records which were very helpful, but not quite considered as authentic. Ancestry.com and the LDS.org web sites are the two most prominent.

Family members interested in this branch of the Riggan family can contact me for further information.


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