Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Stepping Stone Called Granville

Granville County, North Carolina was one of the main stepping stones for families that originated in Virginia and ended up in the Cabarrus/Stanly/Montgomery/Anson County area of North Carolina, and to points beyond. It's one of the Northernmost counties, without being coastal, and borders Virginia.

It was named for John Carteret, Earl of Granville, who had ownership and control of massive sections of land along the Yadkin and Peedee Rivers and their contributaries, and most of the land transactions of the early settlers in this area involved Lord Granville and his grants.
Situated directly under Mecklenburg County, Virginia, where a good number of my ancestors were born, old roads led through Granville, which was populated first, into the southwest regions beyond.

But like other counties, land was bought up and opportunites led elsewhere, and for John Melton, Sr., that elsewhere became the section of Montgomery County, North Carolina, along the Yadkin/PeeDee River just below its confluence with the Uwharrie  River and above its fork with the Rocky River, on the West Bank, that would become Stanly County.

John Melton, Sr. appears to be the first of his brothers to settle in this area.

But back to Granville:

Starting with the Tax Lists:

1760  Henry Melton  1  0  1

1761  William House   3 taxables
           Overseer Richard Melton
           Negro Arthur

1761  Henry Melton   1  0  1

July 31, 1762. The foregoing is a Just List of those persons whom I have Summond in Island Creek District to give in their List of Tax for the year 1762, David Clanton, Constable

Henry Melton (included in list of names)

1762  Henry Melton 1  0   1

Will House   4
  Rich' Melton
  Negros Arthur and Judah

1763  Henry Melton    1 poll

1763  Henry Melton    2    0   2
          Benjamin Melton
1764  Henry Melton    3   0    3
          sons Henry & James

Land records:

103-322-323 Henry Melton to William Craig  2 February 1767 for 70 pounds proc' money, a certain tract or parcel of land lying in county of Granville on both sides of Howlett's Creek containing by estimation 234 acres, be the same more or less....Harris Line, to Cook's line, then south to a certain number of trees marked, it being the one half of the tract the said Melton now lives on which deed he obtained of my Lord Earl Granville agent bearing date 25 June 1761 and also being the lands and plantation Benjamin Whiker, Jun' lives on.  signed Henry (X) Melton
Wit: Veasey Husbands, Thomas Whicker, Benjamin Wicker. Granville County August Court 1767. Acknowledged by Henry Melton. Test Sm' Benton CC,
Puckett Farm, Granville County, North Carolina circa 1900, Tim Buckman photographs, Preservation North Carolina.
William Craig to Roland Gooch   19  April 1773
...a certain parcel of land lying on both sides of Howlett's being one half of the tract the said Henry Melton Senior took up which he obtained from  Lord Earl of Granville agent bearing date 25 June 1761, and also being the land and plantation Benjamin Walker, Jr. lived on.

Governor Richard Caswell to Edmund Taylor  1 March 1780
....thence running  by Rowland Gooches to Melton's line

Governor Richard Caswell to Solomon Davis 24 Sept 1779
....then by Melton's line east

After these land records, I'm including a series of court records that piece together the family of John Melton, who settled in Montgomery County, and his siblings.

Granville County  Feb. Session 1810
Sales of estate of Henry Melton, deceased, in account with Stephen Melton, admstr'.

Nov. Term 1829  Petition of Elizabeth Melton against David Harris and wife Sarah, Steven Sandford and wife Sarah, Stephen Sandford and wife Catherine, Ezekial Jackson and wife Susanna, John, Pomfrett, James and Henry Melton, the children and heirs at law of Elizabeth Frazier, deceased, states that she, Elizabeth Melton, is the widow of Stephen Melton, who died intestate in 1828, possessed of 769 1/2 acres bounded by Maurice Smith and the heirs of James Smith, deceased, Allen T. Wilkerson, William  Ellison and others, which is the land whereupon Stephen Melton lived and died. He is survived by sisters and brothers and their issue, namely Sarah, wife of David Harris; Catherine, wife of Stephen Sandford, Susanna, wife of Ezekiel Jackson, sisters of Stephen Melton, all of Granville County, North Carolina, N.C, John, whose residence is unknown (the words 'Mont. Co.' was scribbled in), Pomfrett Melton of Granville County, James Melton who resides in Tennesee, who are brothers of Stephen Melton, deceased; the children and heirs at law of Ann Hester, deceased, who was a sister of Stephen Melton, and who are all of age, but place of residence unknown, and the children of Elizabeth Frazier, deceased, who was a sister of Stephen Melton, who are of full age and reside in foreign parts; petition to have dower of 1/3rd and dwelling house set off to her as widow of Stephen Melton. She was given 256 1/2 acres Feb. 16, 1830.

Farmhouse, 1990, oil on panel, 30"x 40" , Bob Donahue collection, whereabouts unknown

- Inventory of estate of Stephen Melton, deceased by Elizabeth Melton, Aug. 13, 1829 to Feb Court, 1830.

=Inventory of estate of Stephen Melton, deceased, Aug 13, 1829 (testator died June 20, 1828), including negros and debts due the estate, taken by Elizabeth Melton, admstrx. ; rendered Feb. court 1830.

Nov. 15, 1830 John Melton of Montgomery Co. N.C.  appoints Gabriel Baily of Person Co. N.C.  attorney, to collect  from David S. Young all he owes me as my agent. Witnesses: John Bailey, John T. Forrest. (shows early involvement between Melton family and Forrest family).

August Term, 1830 Petition of David Harris and wife Sarah, Stephen Sandford and wife Catherine, Ezekial Jackson and wife Susanna, James Melton, John Melton,  Pomfret Melton, Henry Melton, James Currin and wife Lucy, Michael Hester and his children: Sally, Henry, Stephen, James, John, Nancy; John Lile and his wife Agnes; William Johnson and his wife Elizabeth, Julius Strickland and wife Ritter; David S. Young and Demetrius Young against Jeremiah Fraizer and his children states that Stephen Melton died in 1828 without leaving any children and had at time of death 513 acres of land after all the widow's dower had been laid off, and they are brothers and sisters,nieces and nephews of said Melton. Jeremiah Frazier married Elizabeth, a sister of Stephen Melton, and had a number of children besides Lucy Currin, who resides with her father outside the State, and Elizabeth Fraizer, their mother, is dead.  They ask that Jeremiah Frazier be notified and ask division of the land. David S. Young has bought the shares of Stephen Sandford and wife and of John Melton; he is due a part since he is descended from Jeremiah Frazier or thru his wife. The land was surveyed and divided but since the names of the children of Elizabeth Melton Frazier cannot be learned, then David Young and Demetrius Young are given the share that would have gone to Elizabeth had she lived.

Granville County Court House circa 1900 courtesy of North Carolina Collection

Nov. 26, 1832

Israel Eastwood and wife Rhody (formerly Rody Wilkerson) of Person County, NC., John Melton and wife Peggy, (formerly Peggy Wilkerson) of Montgomery County, N. C.  appoint John Buckannon, attorney, to sell property inherited by us from our late father, David Wilkerson, deceased, who died 1825. Wts. Richard Springfield.
Signed Margaret Melton, John Melton, Isreal Eastwood, Rhoda Eastwood.

Other pertinent Court Records:

Nov 7, 1775 Harris Hicks, aged 14 and Absalom Hicks, aged 12 years, bound to  Henry Milton to become blacksmiths.

Feb 2, 1783 proved May court 1794 - Henry Melton (Milton) wills to wife all estate real and personal as long as she is my widow and then, in that case, to all my children. Exrs. Wife 'Hagia" and Thomas Hicks or Ricks. Witnesses: John Evans, Bar Wright, Alin Grissum.

Mar 1 & 2, 1808 Acct. of sales of estate of Henry Melton, deceased; Stephen Melton and John Melton bought negros, Sussannah Melton bought produce - sold by Stephen Melton, admin.

Feb. Court 1809 -Accounts of David Harris, guardian to James Melton.

Feb Court 1810: Sales of estate of Henry Melton, deceased, in account with Stephen Melton, admstr.

Sept. 10, 1822 - proved Feb. court 1823 - John Sears wills to wife Violette the plantation whereon I live and all rest of my property for her lifetime' to son John, after death of my wife, the plantation whereon I now live' all perishable goods, household and kitchen furniture be sold and divided between Anne Barnett, Agnes Milton,  William Sears, May Grisham, Elizabeth Harris and Sarah Hester; to the children of Temperance Hicks, an equal share in all perishable goods, household and kitchen furniture and tools; to Temperance Hicks, $1.00 Exr. John Sears, Sr.  Wts. James Ellis, Richard U. Lemay.

Marriages of Meltons and other involved parties: All Granville County, North Carolina unless otherwise noted. 

 23 Dec. 1774  Davis, Joseph Pomfret & Frances Satterwhite, Henry Melton, bondsman. Sherwood Harris , wit.

9 Feb 1789, Hester, Michael & 'JoAnney Melton', William Moore, bondsman, A. Henderson, witness.

19 Oct 1789 Frazier, Jeremiah & Betsy Milton, Henry Melton, bondsman, Henry Potter, witness.

19 Oct 1796 Franklin County, NC: Milton, Joseph  & Abigail Bass, Goodwin Solomon, Bondsman

25 Oct 1799 Melton, Stephen & Elizabeth Puryear, Thomas Puryear, bondsman.

5 Dec 1802  Harris, David & Sarah Milton, Stephen Milton, bondsman, P. Bullock Witness

13 Dec 1804 Franklin County, NC: Elisha Williams to Elizabeth Driver, John Milton, bondsman, G Hill, witness.

4 Feb 1805 Sandford, Stephen & Catherine Melton (it was noted that she was the sister of Stephen Melton). Logostine Pettypool, bondsman.

18 Jul 1805 Pettypool, Logustin & Letty Wilkerson (short for Letitia), Thomas Knotts, bondsman. (As Logustin Pettypool was very involved with the Melton family, I've included this one marriage. He was the brother of Sarah Pettypool Wilkerson, mother of Margaret (Peggy) who married John Melton.

25 Dec 1810 Melton, John & Margaret Wilkerson, David Harris bondsman. (This is John 'of Montgomery, from whom most of the Stanly County Meltons are descended, along with the descendants of his daughters Nancy Melton Hinson, Sarah Melton Hutson, Mary Melton, and Frances Melton Lilly.

6 Feb 1813 Pomphrett Melton & Sally Adcock, David Adcock Bondsman, W. W. Sneed wit.

1 Dec 1816 Jackson, Ezekial & Susan Milton, D J Young, bondsman, Step. K Sneed witness. (D. J. Young is mentioned in the lawsuits concerning the estate of Stephen Melton as a relative of this couple. Susan is Sussanah Melton, youngest daughter of Henry and sister of Stephen).

2 Dec 1816 Halliburton, John & Lydia Puryear, Stephen Melton, bondsman, Step. K Sneed witness. (Stephen must have stayed in town for these two weddings, his little sister and then his sister-in-law. Lydia was his wife Elizabeth's sister.)

13 Oct 1819 Person County, NC Eastwood, Israel & Rhoda Wilkerson: John Melton, bondsman, witness: John Holloway.
     (Rhoda or 'Rhody' was the sister of Margaret "Peggy" Wilkerson Melton, John's wife. Both were daughters of David Wilkerson and Sarah Pettypool.

17 Apr 1821 James Melton & Elizabeth PettyPool; James Sandford, bondsman, John P Smith, wit.

27 June 1822 Blackwell, Fleming & Mary Edwards, Stephen Melton bondsman, David J Young, witness. (Unknown the relationship of Stephen Melton to this couple, if any, but likely as David J Young was a relative of Stephen through his sister and brother-in-law.)

5 Nov 1822 Puryear, Peyton and Frances Amis, Stephen Melton, bondsman, James M. Wiggins, witness

In the next installation corcerning the early Melton's, I will be doing a timeline and tying all of these facts together.



  1. Mrs name us Charlie Rathbun. I have been researching the descendants of David Wilkerson Sr for several years now. I descend from David Wilkerson Jr's so. James Wilkerson who married Sarah Sanford in Granville Co., MC in 1802. I would very much like to correspond with you about the descendants of David Wilkerson Jr. I have a copy of his estate settlement from 1825. It was mixed in with the estate settlement of his father David Sr. You can reach me at the email address below.

    Charlie Rathbun
    Jasper, Ga

  2. email is and I descend from David Sr's son James of your David Jr.