PATTERSON in old Tryon Co., NC, and Counties Created from it


 Tryon Palace, named for the Royal Governor of North Carolina

The first permanent settlement of North Carolina occurred in 1653, when groups from Virginia occupied the section north of the Albemarle Sound. North Carolina was first differentiated from South Carolina in 1691, but was ruled by governors from South Carolina until 1711. . . Between 1730 and 1770, with the heaviest influx around 1746, Scottish Highlanders came to North Carolina. Large groups of Scotch-Irish left Pennsylvania via the Shenandoah Valley to settle in Virginia. Many continued on to North Carolina. They settled mostly in the western section of the state around present-day Iredell County and numbered 20,000 in just a few years . . .

Tryon Palace was originally built between 1767 and 1770, as the first permanent capitol of the Colony of North Carolina and a home for the Royal Governor and his family. Governor William Tryon had brought John Hawks, an English architect, with him when he came to North Carolina in 1764. Hawks designed the Palace in the manner of a number of fashionable houses in the vicinity of London -- Georgian in style, with symmetry maintained throughout. It was soon regarded to be the finest public building in the American colonies.

Governor Tryon, his wife Margaret Wake Tryon, and their daughter Margaret, lived in the Palace for just over a year. They left New Bern in June 1771, when Governor Tryon was appointed to the governorship of New York.

On achieving statehood, North Carolina ceded Tennessee to the United States. . .

After 1741, one could be legally married by advance publishing of banns in church or by traveling to the court house to post a bond and buy a marriage license . . . None of the marriage bonds from before 1820 have survived.

 1. The Handybook for Genealogists, Tenth Edition. Salt Lake City, UT: Everton Publishers, 2001, p. 495

2. Tryon Palace website

Patterson is a common Scottish surname, for it means "son of Patrick." There were several Patterson families in Tryon Co., and many came there from Augusta Co., VA.

Old Tryon Co., North Carolina, was created in 1768 out of Mecklenburg and Anson Cos. and lasted until 1779. It was one of two counties named for Royal governors; both abolished during the Revolution by the newly independent colony's (state) government, by dividing each into two new counties. After it was divided to form Lincoln and Rutherford Cos. in 1779, which were soon subdivided, and the line between NC and SC was finalized, some of the Pattersons were still in Lincoln Co., some in Gaston Co., NC ~ just west of Charlotte, Mecklenberg Co., NC, which borders SC today ~ and some in what became York Co., SC.

Tryon County was huge, 45 mi. from north to south, 80 mi. east to west ~ it had no western boundary except the Cherokee Nation; was bounded on the north by Rowan County, on the east by the Catawba River, and on the south by old Craven Co., SC, which became Kershaw and Fairfield Cos. Tryon County encompassed modern-day Burke, Cleveland, Gaston, Henderson, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford counties in North Carolina and Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, York, Laurens, Union and Chester counties in South Carolina. SEE History of Tryon Co.

Since Governor Tryon was only in North Carolina from 1764-1771, that is the time frame in which our Patterson family had to live there, to name a child after him. On census records, our SAMUEL PATTERSON was born 1760-1770 and the man who must have been his brother since Samuel named a son for him, WILLIAM TRYON PATTERSON, Sr., was born the same decade.

In East Tennessee where our PRISCILLA PATTERSON grew up and married JOSEPH LONGLEY, her brother WILLIAM TRYON PATTERSON and SILAS PATTERSON enlisted in the War of 1812. William T. was called that on some records, and TRYON on others; he was a son of SAMUEL PATTERSON of Sevier Co., TN. Samuel and Tryon as well as William Longley, Joel Longley, and Joseph Longley in 1813 signed a Petition for Tax Relief in Tennessee. The middle name Tryon is a strong indication he was born in Tryon Co., NC, or his father was granted land in NC by Royal Governor William Tryon, and part of the Patterson family of Loyalists later in Rutherford Co., NC.

A family of great interest to us was that of Robert "R" Patterson (his mark was "R" on legal documents) from the Linvill's Creek area of Augusta Co., VA, who settled on Clark's Ford of Bullock Creek, Tryon Co., NC in the 1740s. He was a son of William Patterson and Margaret Donnell. He and his family lived in York Co., SC, when county lines changed. His son Robert Patterson, Jr., and other of his descendants moved west to Rutherford Co., NC, after Robert "R" died in York Co.; and after some years, many moved further west to McMinn Co., TN.

Robert "R" and several other Pattersons' deeds and grants in Tryon Co. refer to Broad River, or Bullock's Creek of Broad River, while others mention the Catawba River:

 Frontispiece Map from Brent Holcomb's 1975 book, North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina, Vol. I: Tryon Co. 1768-1773 


In North Carolina, the Broad River is either the First Broad (east) or Second Broad (west) fork. The two coverge in northernwestern York Co., SC, so deeds mentioning just Broad River were in that portion of Tryon Co. which became York Co., SC. Keep these waterways in mind, for they are important in determining where Pattersons' land was located and who lived in the same neighborhoods. Mentioned in other Patterson grants and deeds was the Catawba River, on the eastern border of Tryon Co., and the French Broad River, which you see are several of today's counties apart. When a deed referred simply to the Broad River, it was in present-day York Co., SC, where the two branches converged.

On 21 Feb 1782, Robert Patterson witnessed a Deed from William Henry, planter of Camden Dist., SC, to William Henry, Jr., planter of Lincoln Co., for 200 pounds NC money sold 300 acres on the dividing line between North & South Carolina in Camden Dist., SC and Lincoln Co., NC on S. fork of Crowders Creek, includes "plantation" where William Henry Jr. lives. Wit: John Henry, Jean Henry, & ROBT PATTERSON. Recorded Jul 1800, Book 19, p. 543 (In Dr. A. B. Pruitt's Lincoln Co., NC Deeds 1793-1800, Vols. 16, 17, 18, p. 178; published in 1988).

Robert "R" Patterson's son Robert, Jr., ca 1750 in Craven Co., SC, according to descendants, was granted on 26 Oct 1767 150 acres on both sides Clarks fork of Bullocks Creek, to Robert Patterson Junr, File 2220, Grant 375, Book 23, p. 151. W. Sims surveyor, Wm. Cravens, Thomas Petterson chain bearers ~ near his father Robert Patterson, and brother Thomas Patterson's grants (Ibid.).

Several of Robert Patterson, Jr.'s children were born in Rutherford Co., NC, where the family spent a few years on their route from SC to McMinn Co., TN. In Rutherford Co. two Pattersons were charged with treason at the end of the Revolution, so apparently sided with the British during the war. More about Robert Jr. on the PATTERSON in TN page.

Most other Patterson deeds and grants in Tryon/Lincoln Co. refer to the W. side of the S. fork of the Cutawba River. The Cutawba River had east and west forks, called North and South forks. They converge in the northeastern corner of today's York Co., SC, a few miles south of the state line, and become the Cutawba River. Thus, the W. side of the S. fork was either in present-day Gaston Co., NC, or just south of it in eastern York Co., SC. If a deed refers to the Cutawba (Cuttaba) River, without reference to N. or S. branch, the land lay in what became York Co., SC.

Several other Pattersons settled in Tryon Co., NC, including John, George, Thomas, Alexander, Arthur, James, and William . Most, if not all, can be shown as descendants of Augusta Co., VA, Pattersons.

In Oct 1770 in Tryon Co., George Patterson sold 325 acres of land to James Patterson.

In 1769 in Tryon Co., Jane Erwin widow sold land to James Patterson, witnessed by William Patterson. He was a son of Robert Patterson who applied in Orange Co., VA, in 1740 for a Virginia Patent, saying he came at his own expense to Philadelphia, PA, from Ireland with his wife Frances, son Thomas, and daughters Mary and Elizabeth.

James was the son of William Patterson and Janet Erwin/Irvine:

 In Jan 1775 in Tryon Co., "Ordered that JAMES PATTERSON have license to keep Ordinary at his now Dwelling in Tryon Co. he complying with the Act of Assembly in that case made and proved. He proposes for Securitys WILLIAM PATTERSON & James Johnston Bound in the sum of Thirty pounds proc. money. Accepted." [Tryon Co. Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas 1769-1779.]

James's brother Robert & wife Frances had a son John Patterson who married Margaret Baskin from Co. Donegal, Ireland (daughter of William Baskin b. Co. Donegal and Mary Stuart/Stewart b. Scotland. John was b. abt 1730 in the part of Spotsylvania Co., VA, which became Orange and then Augusta Co. He and Margaret probably lived a few years in Tryon Co., NC, on their way south from Augusta Co., VA, to where they eventually settled in Abbeville Co., SC, and finally across the Savannah River to Elbert Co., GA.

Many of the others found in Tryon and Lincoln Co. records were one of their 12 children. But not all, for there were new Scotch-Irish immigrants to Tryon Co.

As usual with our ancestors, many of these Pattersons gave their children the same names. Males were commonly James, John, Robert, and William with little way to differentiate among them; less common were George, Thomas, Alexander, Arthur, Matthew, Joseph, Mathias, and Samuel.

In numerous Tryon/Lincoln Co. records, Alexander Patterson was the son of James and his 2nd wife Sarah Fleming.

The Pattersons in Tryon Co. were divided in their opinion of the colonists' demands for independence from England, as discussed by Wes Patterson in his paper on the family of Robert:

 Some of Robert Patterson's Family
were Loyalists (Tories) During the Revolution

Robert and Sarah's family seems to have had their share of family divisions, as many families do it seems. In their case, one such division appears to have been over issues concerning the Revolution in the mid 1770's. Without going into too many details here, it seems that Robert and his sons Robert Jr. and Peter must have shared common convictions. Both of these sons were named as executors of the Will, and both resided in York Co. longer than the rest of their siblings, especially Peter.

On the other hand, Thomas Patterson (the oldest son) and apparently William also, were among those who supported the Loyalists, or Tories, during the Revolution. They were not alone. All three of their brothers-in-law were Loyalists, or at least neutral, depending on the source. Joseph Black (married Sarah Patterson), Daniel Ponder Jr. (married Elizabeth Patterson), and John Black (married Lydia Patterson) were among those who were not on the side of the Revolutionaries. Another close neighbor (and probably relative), Nathaniel Harrison, was another Loyalist. Practically the entire Black family (of CFBC) was on the side of the Tories (Loyalists), or at least claimed to be neutral.

The following list of Tories from York Co., SC was provided by Harald Reksten, entitled, "COL. WILLIAM BRATTON'S LIST OF TORIES IN THE REVOLUTION, 26 JULY 1783":

Peeter Juland Jr. [Julian]
Benjamin Juland
Peeter Juland
Wm. Juland
Daniel Ponder
Jary Juland
Robert Black
James Irvin
Wm. Patterson
Josaph Black
Thomas Peeterson
John Black
Mathew Black

The Julians, Blacks, Ponders, and Pattersons intermarried frequently during the 1700's. It is possible that this "James Irvin" may also have been a relative of theirs. This was neither an all-inclusive list of those who were Loyalists, nor was everyone on this list actually in support of the British. Some of these individuals actually signed an "Oath of Neutrality". The following extract is from an article that was written by Betty Jo Hulse, a long-time researcher of the Harrison family. Notice first that the identity of the Harrisons is established, followed by the Oath of Neutrality record. Nathaniel Harrison was the same person who was a testator (witness) to the 1775 Will of Robert Patterson. His wife was Rachel, and his son, Joseph Harrison. The Matthew Black recorded below (1785 and 1788) was not the Matthew Black who had received a land grant on Clark's Fork of Bullocks Creek in the 1760's, but rather a son or grand son of the elder Matthew. Some researchers believe the younger was a grandson of the elder Matthew, by the elder's son Robert Black (and Madge Cravens).

In the Rutherford Co., NC court records there is a record showing that Joseph Harrison and Rachel Harrison sold 140 acres of land lying in York Co., SC on both sides of Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek to Matthew Black, dated 29 July 1785, being the land granted to Nathaniel Harrison in the year 1762. In York Co., SC court records there is recorded the same transaction, only naming Joseph Harrison and his mother Rachel as selling the same land to Matthew Black, land that was granted to Nathaniel Harrison in 1762. In October Court, 1788, York Co., SC there is a record of Joseph Harrison vs Matthew Black, something to do with "debt" and was "dismissed at the defendants cost."

In 1762, when Nathaniel Harrison received his land grant, No 371 Book 23, page 150, in Mechlinburg Co., the line between North Carolina and South Carolina was not yet laid out as it is today 1772 it was surveyed west of the Catawba River, having been surveyed east in 1764. Before these surveys, there were over 1,000 land grants issued by North Carolina in territory that is now South Carolina. These grants were issued from North Carolina counties (present) Bladen, Anson, Mechlenburg, and Tryon. That is why Nathaniel Harrison's grant was recorded in Mechlenburg, when it was in reality in what is now York Co., SC. His land was surveyed 28 Aug 1765 with W. Sims as surveyor, Thomas Harrison and Robert Black as chain bearers. It was entered on record Oct. 26, 1767.

Oath of Neutrality transmitted by Capt. Polk [Ezekiel Polk] New Acquisition, South Carolina... Robert Black, Joseph Black, William Wilson, Daniel Ponder, NATHANIEL HARRISON, John Black, Jacob Garner, James Black came before me and voluntarily made Oath that they will not (unless compelled in self defense) lift arms against the Americans in their present contest with Great Britain nor do anything by work or action which they shall know to be against the American cause. Sworn before me this 3d of October 1775

Robert Black
Daniel Ponder
Jacob Gerdner
James Black
Joseph Black
Nathaniel Harrison
John Black
William Wilson

Endorsed: 5 Neutral affidavits.

In a book, Biographical Sketches of American Loyalists, Vol. II, by Lorenzo Sobine, on page 526: Carolina Loyalists. Nathaniel, estate confiscated.

There is no further record of Nathaniel Harrison of York Co., SC after 1782 when his name appears on the confiscation list.

Three of those listed above were sons-in-law of Robert and Sarah Patterson (Daniel Ponder, Joseph and John Black).

In contrast, it appears the Cravens were in favor of revolting. Robert and Esther Harrison Cravens never actually lived on CFBC. They had retained their residence in Augusta Co., VA. His brother, William Cravens, had lived on CFBC from about 1766 until 1773. With the Revolution looming ahead, perhaps Cravens determined to return to his home land in Augusta Co., although this writer believes that in doing so he left part of his family in SC. No records have been found concerning any daughters born to William Cravens, but it's conceivable that there may have been one or more daughters that married some of these young boys who had moved south in the 1760's, from families such as the Pattersons, or Blacks, or Harrisons, etc. Remember that Thomas Patterson (a likely candidate to be a son-in-law of William Cravens) was the grandfather of a Joseph Black Patterson, and a great-grandfather of two Joseph Black Pattersons and a William Cravens Patterson. They had those names for a reason. Nonetheless, no EVIDENCE has been uncovered to prove any such THEORY.

 The Heritage of John and Margaret Black Patterson: The Quest to Find their Immigrant Ancestors.
Unpublished paper by Charles Wesley Patterson, Feb 2003,

SCOTS in the Revolutionary War in North Carolina

On January 20th, General Clinton sailed from Boston . . . He was to rendezvous with another command under General Lord Charles Cornwallis and Admiral Peter Parker, to be sent from Ireland. Originally headed to Charleston, South Carolina, the expedition changed its course to Cape Fear, North Carolina, because Governor Josiah Martin of North Carolina convinced the British that with a few regiments he could raise enough Loyalists to put down the rebellion in North Carolina. And this would facilitate the end of the rebellion in South Carolina and Georgia.

Martin based his hopes on raising a large force, primarily the relatively new group of immigrants, the so-called Highland Scots who had made settlements in several coastal counties of North Carolina. They had fought for the Stewarts against the Hanoverians in 1745. After their bloody defeat at Culloden, many had found refuge in the new world.

Although they had no love for the Hanoverian King George III, they had still less love for more settlers in the Piedmont area, many of whom were the so-called Lowlanders or Scots-Irish immigrants. Thus, by 1775, North Carolina was generally split into two groups: The Patriots, consisting primarily of the Scots-Irish and other settlers of the Peidmont, who favored independence from the Crown; and the Loyalists or Tories, primarily the Crown officials, wealthy merchants, planters, conservatives, and Scots Highlanders, who favored loyalty to the king at any price.

The fleet from Ireland was supposed to sail in December but did not leave until the middle of February. As communications between Britain, General Howe, or Governor Martin were necessarily slow and unreliable, the Governor decided to start raising his army without waiting for the fleet's arrival. By February 15th Martin had about 700 Highlanders and 800 other Loyalists, under the command of 80-year-old Donald McDonald, an experienced soldier and General of the militia.

But as soon as word of the Loyalist activities leaked out, the Patriots began gathering their forces under General James Moore of the 1st North Carolina Regiment. Moore raised about one thousand volunteers and minute men and decided to contest the march to the coast and join the Redcoats at Waters Creek Bridge, about 20 miles above Wilmington.

In the misty dawn of February 27th, with drums beating and bagpipes skirling, the Highlander Scots, some in plaids and kilts, rushed the bridge, swinging their terrible claymores and screaming their battle cry, "King George and broadswords! They were met with withering fire at point-blank range as Rebel rifles flashed and cracked. In the pale gray light, almost the whole advance party was cut down.

In less than five minutes the Loyalist force was in complete retreat, which quickly turned into a rout as the Rebels promptly mounted a counter-attack. In the next few days, they captured over 800 Loyalists, almost destroying the small army and preventing the rendezvous with the British.

Although not realized at the time, this victory did much more than merely check the growth of Loyalist sentiments in North Carolina. It fanned the fires of Revolutionary fervor to such a pitch that on April 12th North Carolina instructed its delegation to the 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia to vote for independence – the first colony to do so. It also thwarted the planned British invasion of North Carolina.

When the British force finally arrived off Cape Fear, it moved on to the original destination of Charleston . . .

 Excerpt from THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, Collector's 2-Tape Edition. Plymouth, MN: Dan Dalton Productions, Part I, 1993.

Arthur Patterson, Sr., seems to have no connection to the other Tryon Co. Pattersons. Arthur's land was at the base of Kings Mountain, and he is listed as a patriot who fought Ferguson's Tories at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. He and three sons Alexander, Jr., Thomas, and William fought in the battles of King's Mountain in Apr 1780. According to Dr. Lancey Draper's book KINGS MOUNTAIN AND ITS HEROES, p. 312, "...old Arthur Patterson, an Irishman, who was devoted to the Whig cause, as well as his several sons who were settled around him." According to Draper, three of Arthur's sons, Thomas, William, and young Arthur, Jr. (13 yrs old at the time), were held captive by the Tories on top of Kings Mountain. Old Arthur was on his way up to try and free them when the Whig militia attacked, and he fell in with them to help defeat the Tories. All three of his sons escaped during the confusion of the battle. Arthur, according to Revolutionary War records, immigrated from Ireland and settled near King's Mountain in the portion of old Tryon Co., NC, that is now Gaston Co., NC or York Co., SC. Kings Mountain National Military Park is near the NC-SC state line. Its entrance is at Blacksburg, SC (off I-85 halfway between Charlotte, NC, and Greenville, SC, an hour's drive from either city).

 Kings Mountain National Military Park commemorates a pivotal and significant victory by American Patriots over American Loyalists during the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. The battle fought on October 7, 1780 destroyed the left wing of Cornwallis' army and effectively ended Loyalist ascendance in the Carolinas. The victory halted the British advance into North Carolina, forced Lord Cornwallis to retreat from Charlotte into South Carolina, and gave General Nathanael Greene the opportunity to reorganize the American Army.

Soon John Patterson, his wife Margaret Baskin, and their children moved southwest to Abbeville Co., SC. Some of her Baskin family had been there several years. Across the Savannah River from Abbeville Co., Elbert Co., GA, was created in 1790, and that is where John and Margaret died.

SAMUEL, ALEXANDER, and ROBERT PATTERSON (whose?) lived side by side when enumerated in the 1790 Mecklenberg Co., NC, Heads of Families, the first federal census:


 The 1790 census instructed the marshals to identify, by age brackets, free white males sixteen years of age or older and those under sixteen. It was designed to determine the country’s industrial and military capabilities. Additionally, the first census was to count the number of free white females; all other free persons regardless of race or gender; and slaves.

The 1790 Mecklenberg Co., SC, Census listed SAMUEL PATTERSON with five males 16+, two males under 16, three females;

next line ALEXANDER PATTERSON two males 16+, four females, 3 slaves;

next line ROBERT PATTERSON one male 16+, one female, 1 slave

SAMUEL PATERSON was enumerated in the 1800 Rutherford Co., NC Census on same page as DAVID and JAMES, with JOHN on the following page, and ROBERT two pages after JOHN:


Enumerators of the 1800 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 10, 10 to 16, 16 to 26, 26 to 45, 45 and older; number of other free persons except Indians not taxed; number of slaves; and town or district and county of residence. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

Thus, SAMUEL PATTERSON was 26-45, wife same age, with two boys and two girls under 10;

Three houses later was DAVID PATTERSON, age 26-45, his wife 16-26, with 1 boy and 3 girls under 10.

Eleven houses later was JAMES PATTERSON, age 16-26, wife 16-26, no children.

On next page, JOHN PATTERSON was 16-26, wife 16-26, one male under 10.

Two pages later (below) was ROBERT PATTERSON age 45+, wife 45+, with two boys under 10, one 10-16, two girls under 10, three girls 10-16, one female 26-45.


To access hypertext pedigree, descendant, and register charts on these and other Pattersons in my database, click the GEDCOMS button/bar below. In the search window that comes up, type Patterson, and the first name. An index list starting with that name will come up; click on your choice.


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