The Royal Colony of North Carolina

The Virginian Settlers During the Royal Period (1729 to 1775)

As during the Lords Proprietors rule from 1663 to 1729, the Virginians, just north of the border, continued to immigrate into North Carolina during the Royal Period, however, their numbers (the border-landers) decreased significantly after the NC-VA border was firmly established via survey in 1728.

It was during the "great migration" of the 1740s and 1750s, as a result of the impending hostilities between the Native Americans along the Pennsylvania and Virgina frontiers that would lead up to the French and Indian War (1756-1763), when the Virginians once again decided to move southward again, mostly into North Carolina, but a few made their way into South Carolina.

This "great migration" was made possible by the Great Wagon Road, which had been built across North Carolina from Virginia in the 1740s and 1750s. During the 1750s, the Fall Line Road and the Upper Road, which both originated at Fredericksburg, Virginia, were constructed deep into central North Carolina, again facilitating emigration from Virginia into North Carolina.

Many folks of all ethnic backgrounds soon learned of these new roads and of the cheap land that was available in the Piedmont and at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, and they came by the thousands from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and most especially from all parts of Virginia.

Of course, not all of them could be tracked, but many groups of them could be followed. Some may have claimed to be included in the Scots-Irish numbers or the Quaker numbers instead of identifying themselves as merely Virginians, but they flocked to North Carolina in the Royal Period - again, primarily because of the impending French and Indian War and thanks to cheap land and low taxation.

As soon as the NC-VA border had started to be surveyed in 1728, a sizeable group skipped over the border from Halifax County, Virginia into what is present-day Person County, North Carolina. This was soon followed in the early 1730s by a group of border-Virginians moving down into what is present-day Granville County.

In the 1740s, separate groups of English Virginians and Scots-Irish Virginians arrived in North Carolina and settled in what are the present-day counties of Wilson, Wayne, Sampson, and Cumberland just east of the Fall Line Road. Similar groups of English and Scots-Irish Virginians went further west in the 1740s and settled what are the present-day counties of Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, and Mecklenburg.

In the 1750s, a small group of Virginians settled in what is present-day Stokes County. Separate groups of German Virginians and Scots-Irish Virginians found their way to what are the present-day counties of Cleveland and Rutherford.

In 1761, a group of Scots-Irish from Virginia were the first to settle what is present-day Watauga County, North Carolina

This is all that has been readily available to record at this point in time. If additional information comes available, this page will be updated.

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved