Across the Pond

Happy New Year!  I wanted to begin the new year with a post that I have been thinking about for a while.

When I began my genealogy journey my initial goal was to find my immigrant ancestors. I wanted to find out who braved the ocean to come and settle in a new country. There are so many stories of immigrants coming into Ellis Island with five dollars in hand. I wanted to know if any of those stories were mine.

I have been exploring backwards for 7 years or so, and have made the “pond leap” on a few occasions. However, I have not made the connection on my own surname. I get back to about 1700’s and well, get lost. I am hoping by writing down what I have so far, I will be able to crack this brick wall. Maybe one of you will be able to provide the link.

My father was raised in Chicago. My father’s father was raised in Georgia. Fred Augustus (1901-1950) was the son of Walter Everett (1868-1951) who was the son of George Wiley Whitehead (1829-1891) who was the son of Joel Whitehead (1790-1859) who was the son of Samuel (1760-1844) who was the son of Samuel (1732-1795). That is all I know. But let’s explore this last Samuel and see if we can find some other clues. Samuel is my fifth great-grandfather.

Samuel was born around 1732, some ancestry sites put his birth in North Carolina, but I have not found any proof to substantiate this claim.

Samuel Whitehead is listed in the Granville County, NC Early Census Index in 1769 (Source: North Carolina, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 1999.)

I also have a document that shows that Samuel Whitehead took Oath of Allegiance in 1778 to the State of North Carolina (and NOT the Crown). There is also a William Whitehead on this document. I am not sure who he is. (Source: State Records of North Carolina, Vol 22, Miscellaneous, Walter Clark, Richard Thornton Library, Oxford, NC, and reprinted in Granville Connections Journal of the Granville County Genealogical Society 1746, Inc. Vol 6, No 2. Spring 2000)

In 1784, two young orphan girls were bound to Samuel Whitehead: Agnes, 12 years old and Mary 6 years old, daughters of Thomas Wright. (Source:

I have a North Carolina State Census document that indicates that in the year 1786, Samuel Whitehead lived in Granville County. It indicates that there were one (White Male 21-60 years), three (White males under 21 and above 60), six (White Females, all ages), one (Black 12-50), one (Black under 12 & above 50). (Source: North Carolina, State Census, 1784-1787 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2006).

In 1790, Samuel Whitehead bought land in Caswell County. He is listed in the 1790 Census (Source: Year: 1790; Census Place: Caswell, North Carolina; Series: M637; Roll: 7; Page: 83; Family History Library Film: 0568147)

In 1793 however, Samuel is listed in Person County on a Tax List (Source: North Carolina, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 1999.)

Below is a map of Granville County in 1746, you can see the various counties that Samuel lived and or owned property. Historically, this is when counties were being formed. For example, Caswell County was formed in 1777. Granville County was formed in 1746. So, it is possible these lands were closer.


Granville County Map 1746

Granville County Map 1746

In 1794, Samuel’s will was recorded in Person county. You can see it here:

In 1808, Samuel Whitehead’s will was handled in Person County. See information below:

Person County, NC, February Court 1808: Inventory of the estate of Samuel Whitehead.

Person County Record Book, February Court 1809. Legatees of Samuel Whitehead, deceased: Benjamin Stovall, Robert Melone, Samuel Whitehead, Robert Burlington, Elizabeth Whitehead, Ursley Newton. Power of attorney to Moses Bradsher, Major Henry Sargent, and James D. Hanley to settle accounts of Carter Lea, adm. 10 December 1808.

Sale of the Whitehead land where Samuel Sr. had lived adjacent to Carter Lea. Benjamin Stovaul & Samuel Whitehead of Oglethorpe County, Georgia; Robert Malone of Sumner County, Tennessee; Robert Bullington of Union County, South Carolina; & Ursula Newton of Davidson County, Tennessee– to Ebenezer Whitehead of Person County, for 160 lbs. 11/3, 103 A on Richland Creek adjacent Carter Lea, Charles Winstead, Vanhook on wagon road. 14 December 1808. Witnesses: Ira Lea, Carter Lea. (Source: by a user. I have not personally seen the original document but I am working on it).

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out Samuel’s father at this point in my exploration. Maybe one of my readers will be able to assist. Please let me know if you have additional information.


Until later, I will be exploring backwards.