Stephen Whitaker Land Records, Deeds and Sales

Thomas' Legion
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Stephen Decatur Whitaker, Sr.
"Land Records, Deeds and Transactions"

GRAHAM COUNTY

Established in 1872, Graham County consists of land that was once held by Cherokee Indians. Researchers should be aware that because Graham was formed from part of Cherokee County, some deeds to land in present-day Graham are recorded in Cherokee County deed books.
Most of the Indians in Graham County have lived along the Cheoah and its creeks in the southwest near Little Snowbird Creek, and in central Graham along Buffalo Creek West. A number of them held title to their land by purchase and not by occupancy. Thus, many American Indian (aka Native American) names are recorded in the deed books of the county.

Tenth U.S. Census, 1880, Graham County: Identifies 156 persons as "Indian.”
 
Record of Deeds, 1873-1880, #1-272: Sale of land by Takanochulah to William W. Cooper, Nov. 12, 1874; sale of land by State to Takanochulah, Dec. 21, 1875; sale of land by Stephen Whitaker to Tarquaty, Aug. 16, 1876; sale of land by Corn Silk and others to W. Cogdill, Aug. 26, 1876.

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Recommended Reading: Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. Description: The county has always been used as the basic Federal census unit. Genealogical research in the census, therefore, begins with identifying the correct county jurisdictions. This work shows all U.S. county boundaries from 1790 to 1920. On each of the nearly 400 maps the old county lines are superimposed over the modern ones to highlight the boundary changes at ten-year intervals. Also included are (1) a history of census growth; (2) the technical facts about each census; (3) a discussion of census accuracy; (4) an essay on available sources for each state's old county lines; and (5) a statement with each map indicating which county census lines exist and which are lost. Then there is an index listing all present-day counties, plus nearly all defunct counties or counties later renamed. Continued below...
With each map there is data on boundary changes, notes about the census, and locality finding keys. There also are inset maps that clarify territorial lines, a state-by-state bibliography of sources, and an appendix outlining pitfalls in mapping county boundaries. The detail in this work is exhaustive and of such impeccable standards that there is little wonder why this award-winning publication is the number one tool in U.S. census research.

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Recommended Reading: Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources, Third Revised Edition [ILLUSTRATED] (Hardcover) (900 pages). Description: No scholarly reference library is complete without a copy of Ancestry's Red Book. In it, you will find both general and specific information essential to researchers of American records. This revised 3rd edition provides updated county and town listings within the same overall state-by-state organization. Whether you are looking for your ancestors in the northeastern states, the South, the West, or somewhere in the middle, Ancestry's Red Book has information on records and holdings for every county in the United States, as well as excellent maps from renowned mapmaker William Dollarhide. Continued below…

In short, the 900 page Red Book is simply the book that no genealogist can afford not to have. The availability of census records such as federal, state, county, city, town, and territorial census reports is covered in detail. Vital records are also discussed, including when and where they were kept and how. Organized by state, Ancestry's Red Book helps you find information-rich resources for all kinds of records all across America.

 

Recommended Reading: Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads (Touring the Backroads). Editorial Review: This guidebook, unlike most, is so encyclopedic in scope that I give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. It is also an invaluable reference for the visitor who wants to see more than the fabulous Biltmore Estate. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything I know about Western North Carolina from this book alone and it is my primary reference. I am still amazed at how much fact, history and folklore [just enough to bring alive the curve of the road, the odd landmark, the abandoned building] is packed in its 300 pages. The author, who must have collapsed from exhaustion when she finished it, takes you on a detailed tour, laid out by the tenth of the mile, of carefully drawn sections of backroads that you can follow leisurely without getting lost. Continued below...

The author is completely absent from the text. The lucid style will please readers who want the facts, not editorial comment. This book, as well as the others in this publisher's backroads series, makes an excellent gift for anyone, especially the many seniors who have relocated, or are considering relocating to this fascinating region. It is also a valuable reference for natives, like me, who didn't know how much they didn't know.

 

Editor's Recommended Reading: Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913 (Hardcover: 679 pages). Description: From the introduction to the appendix, this volume is filled with interesting information. Covering seventeen counties—Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey—the author conducted about ten years searching and gathering materials. Continued below...

About the Author: John Preston Arthur was born in 1851 in Columbia, South Carolina. After relocating to Asheville, North Carolina, in 1887, he was appointed Secretary of the Street Railway Company, and subsequently the Manager and Superintendent until 1894. Later, after becoming a lawyer, he was encouraged by the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) to write a history of western North Carolina.

 
NEW! North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster (Volume XVI: Thomas's Legion) (Hardcover, 537 pages), North Carolina Office of Archives and History (June 26, 2008). Description: The volume begins with an authoritative 246-page history of Thomas's Legion. The history, including Civil War battles and campaigns, is followed by a complete roster and service records of the field officers, staff, and troops that served in the legion. A thorough index completes the volume. Continued below...

Volume XVI of North Carolina Troops: A Roster contains the history and roster of the most unusual North Carolina Confederate Civil War unit, significant because of the large number of Cherokee Indians who served in its ranks. Thomas's Legion was the creation of William Holland Thomas, an influential businessman, state legislator, and Cherokee chief. He initially raised a small battalion of Cherokees in April 1862, and gradually expanded his command with companies of white soldiers raised in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and Virginia. By the end of 1862, Thomas's Legion comprised an infantry regiment and a battalion of infantry and cavalry. An artillery battery was added in April 1863. Furthermore, in General Early's Army of the Valley, the Thomas Legion was well-known for its fighting prowess. It is also known for its pivotal role in the last Civil War battle east of the Mississippi River. The Thomas Legion mustered more than 2,500 soldiers and it closely resembled a brigade. With troop roster, muster records, and Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) this volume is also a must have for anyone interested in genealogy and researching Civil War ancestors. Simply stated, it is an outstanding source for genealogists.

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