Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Buying the Fort

I've been doing a lot of research on family members who lived in Craven County North Carolina recently. The County made a lot of old records available online which makes it very convenient to locate them from home.

Fort Barnwell
I found a land record showing one of my great grandfathers bought the land where a fort was built during the Tuscarora Indian War of 1711.

Francis Nunn settled in the Craven County area in the early 1700s. He may have been one of the Militia members from South Carolina who came to fight the Tuscarora Indians after they attacked New Bern, North Carolina and massacred over 400 white settlers.

There was a Francis Nunn in South Carolina at the time who would have been the right age to be a part of the militia. Several men who took part in the war ended up moving to North Carolina afterwards because they found the land better and readily available.

1729 Deed from William Hancock
South Carolina sent a militia of 30 white officers and 313 friendly Indians under the command of Col. John Barnwell. They built a fort on the bank of the Neuse River at Half Moon Swamp in 1712. The State of North Carolina put a historic marker there in the 1950s.  

In 1729 Francis Nunn paid 95 pounds to buy a Plantation of 640 acres, including the old fort, from William Hancock, Jr. His father, Col William Hancock had received the land as a Grant from the Lords Proprietors.

Four years later Francis Nunn was given permission to operate a Ferry across the Neuse River at Fort Barnwell.

The Court file says "ye said Mr. Nunn to receive the sum of two shillings and six pence for ferin man and horse."

Francis Nunn's gg granddaughter Mary Nunn was the mother of Mary Catherine Ellis who married David Fulford of Carteret County in 1862. Their son, William Thomas Fulford was my great grandfather.

1 comment:

David said...


Enjoyed your post. It is thought that there was a Native American village in the area as the land is a natural fortification with water on two sides. We partnered with the owners to present several tours of the fort site over the past few years. The breastworks are still visible after 300 years.

This side of the Neuse River at Fort Barnwell is 20 to 30 feet higher than the other side. The land later passed into the Simpson, Biddle, and now the Cox family. It is also the site of one of the finest family cemeteries in Craven County. Dr. David La Vere wrote an excellent book about the Tuscarora War a few years ago.

Simpson-Biddle Family Cemetery

For Francis Nunn, his ancestors are noted as being from Virginia and England.

All The Best, David,