If you are researching your ancestry, and know that one of your forebears was one of North Carolina’s earliest citizens, you should visit CoastalCarolinaIndians.com for the vast number of research resources available.

The following item appeared on that site and has been reposted here with permission.

(I’ve worked with Coastal Carolina Indian Center since it was founded in 2004 by my mother, Teresa Morris, so I do a lot of research and writing for that site, as well as this one.)


Extracted from court record books and submitted to Coastal Carolina Indian Center by Kevin Davis of Carteret County. (From series: Early Carteret Court Minutes 1723-1820)

(Please note, some of these records use the term “mulatto” in referring to individuals that were most likely Indian. This was not unusual, as in eastern North Carolina in the period following the “Tuscarora War” of 1711-1713, Indian people are almost never named as such. They are referred to as white, free colored, mulatto, or sometimes even negro. In order to determine which of these individuals/families were, in fact, Indian, one must often look at a number of other variables, such as if individuals from that same family were named as Indian in earlier records, if they are interacting with other known Indian families, local oral tradition about families being Indian rather than some other race, and then families/individuals whose race appears to change in the official record. For example, in 1790, everyone in a family being listed as free colored, and in 1800, everyone in the same family being listed on the census as “white.”)

{Volume I, page 43} September term of court for 1733…

Richard Lewis came into open court and made oath upon the Holy Evangelist that he had in his own family the following persons VIZ: Richard Lewis; Elizabeth Lewis, wife; Elizabeth Lewis, daughter; Jane Lewis, daughter; Tabitha Lewis, daughter; Hester Lewis, daughter; and Mary Lewis, daughter; and Samuel Samson, Indian Man.

{Volume I, page 46} September term of court for 1734…

Enoch Ward ESQ, came into open court and made oath upon the Holy Evangelist that the following persons was and is now his own proper family. Enoch Ward; wife, Elizabeth Ward; son, Richard Ward; daughters, Ann Ward, Martha Ward, Elizabeth Ward, Mary Ward, and Sarah Ward; John Williamson, Jane Williamson, Ann Williamson, Richard Williamson; Negroes; Jobe, Will, Sharper, Jemmy, George, Doll and Dina and an Indian Man Jude.

{Volume I, page 46} September term of court for 1734…

Samuel Chadwick came into open court and made oath upon the Holy Evangelist the following persons to be his proper family VIZ: Samuel Chadwick, his wife Mary Chadwick; Sabra Chadwick, daughter; Isiah Chadwick, son; Thomas Chadwick, son; and James Chadwick, son; also Indian James, Negroes York, Rose, Cuff, and John.

{Volume II, page 31} March term of court for 1750…

Ann Norwood a woman of mixed blood, came into court and brought two children, one called Ann and the other Sampson, and have bound them with the consent of this court unto James Shackelford, and this court order that they serve said James according to law.

{Volume II, page 37} December term of court for 1751…

This court hath bound a child of mixed blood born of one Indy, a mulatto, formally belonging unto the estate of Mr. James Winright* decd, the said child called Katherine about three years old, unto Mr. Neall Purcell to serve him according to law.

{Volume II, page 38} December term of court for 1751…

This court hath bound a boy child of mixed blood born of one Indy, a mulatto formally belonging unto the estate of Mr. James Winright*, and the said boy called Tom about one year old, unto Thomas Lovick and his wife to serve them according to law.

(*The Wainwright family had numerous Indian slaves, as can be found in early North Carolina records.)

{Volume II, page 73} December term of court for 1755…

Ordered that the clerk issue a summons to George Bell Sr. to make appearance with papers has concerning and Indian, Edward John, a servant to him, to also shew cause why he should not take care of and maintain the said Indian.

{Volume II, page 79} September term of court for 1756…

Ordered that Thomas Chadwick take an Indian named Edward John and that he be satisfied by the vestry for maintaining him.

{Volume II, page 157} February term of court for 1764…

The court ordered Rose and George, mulatto daughter and son of mulatto Judy, the girl five years old and the boy three and a half be bound to Cornelius Canaday until they shall arrive to the age of twenty one years and said Canaday to learn or cause the Boy to learn the art of a cooper and the girl to learn to spin.

{Volume III, page 49} September term of court for 1767…

William Yeats and Mary his wife moved to this court to have a mulatto girl named Lurane, that formerly lived with Peter Piver, of the age of twelve years, to be bound unto them during the term of nine years or till she arrive to the age of twenty one. Order that she be bound unto them and that the clerk make out indentures and that the chairman sign the same as the law directs.

{Volume III, page 63} September term of court for 1768…

On the petition of Willet Goffifon it is ordered that Salvia Sampson, a mulatto woman shall serve the said Willet Goffigon for the term of one whole year and also that the said Silvia Sampson’s child be bound unto the said Goffigan according to law.

{Volume III, page 77} June term of court for 1769…

Caleb Bell esq. made it appear that he had a white woman servant which hath had two mulatto children, order that the said servant woman serve the said Caleb Bell her master the term of one whole year for each offence over and above the term of time which she is now indentured for.

{Volume III, page 92} June term of court for 1770…

Ordered that Esther Norwood be bound unto James Shackelford, aged eighteen years last November, until she arrive at the age of twenty one years, and to learn her to spin, The Lords Prayer, The Creed and The Ten Commandments. Also a mulatto girl named Tabitha Norwood aged five years November last until she arrive to the age of twenty one years and to learn to spin, The Creed, Lords Prayer and Ten Commandments, also one mulatto girl named Alice Norwood aged one year and nine months be bound to James Shackelford to learn to spin, The Creed, Lords Prayer and Ten Commandments and to serve him until she arrive at the age of twenty one years.

{Volume III, page 92} June term of court for 1770…

Also William Fulford came into court and moved to have Thespah Norwood bound to him with the consent of the said boy aged seventeen years and granted, the said boy is to serve until he arrive at the age of twenty one years. Also Sophia Norwood a mulatto girl aged fifteen years be bound to him until she arrive at the age of twenty years, the said Fulford to learn the boy the trade of a Cooper and the girl to spin and to learn them the Creed, Lords Prayer and Ten commandments.

{Volume III, page 93} June term of court for 1770…

Caleb Bell esq. moved to this court to have Abraham Kent, a mulatto boy, son of Priscilla Kent, a white woman, aged three years last October be bound to him until he arrive at the age of thirty one years and that he learn him the Creed, Lords Prayer and Ten Commandments.

{Volume IV, page 49} December term of court for 1780…

Jonathan Hellen moved to this court to have Martha Harry, a mulatto girl bound unto him and wife. She being of the age of two years, ordered she be bound.

{Volume IV, page 174} March term of court for 1788…

Mulatto Bob was brought into court by his mother Nance to be bound to Caleb Longest to learn the trade of a shoemaker to which the court agreed and indentures were issued. Age six.

{Volume V, page 78} August term of court for 1793…

Benjamin Stanton moved the court to have a Mulatto Boy named Jack age ten years last March bound to him till he is twenty one years old to learn the trade of a cooper ands to read, write and which is granted.