Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

so I start this site in Virginia… go figure

Map musings… the dirty secret

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The dirty secret is that my maps are not always accurate… sue me (smiling).  But then again, they might be close enough to get you to where you want to go.

A commenter, Dawn,  asks:

Any clues to where “Cabbin Branch” is located on the Blackwater River? I am trying to find Patents circa 1722 for John Branch who received land on both sides of Cabbin Branch and on the south side of the Main Blackwater River in IOW/Southampton VA.

Branch, John. grantee.
grant 18 February 1722.
Summary Location: Isle of Wight County.
Description: 200 acres on the south side of the main Blackwater Swamp, and on both sides of the Cabbin Branch.
Source: Land Office Patents No. 11, 1719-1724, p. 167 (Reel 10).

I had no clue to help her… but then I found another patent a year later (1723)… there was the clue– it referenced “Lightwood Swamp” (which is extant on modern maps).  So I shared my little tidbit in the comments.  But my curiosity takes over and I delved into the area.  And therein were found more clues…    Here is a screen shot prior to my changes on the main map.


Note the red circle… in that particular patent (referenced in the written patent itself) is noted the adjacent landowner… it is one Elizabeth BRANCH (and by inference, she is probably a widow).  So the clues evolve… this tells me that there was at least one BRANCH family near Lightwood Swamp.  Then all hell breaks loose and I go on the hunt.  The “hunt” involves searching the Land Patents on the Library of Virginia website.  In that hunt I find a John DREW who has several delicious patents which not only refer to Lightwood Swamp but also the mystery “Cabbin Branch”.   Cabbin Branch is a ghost record that can only be found by “grouping” a little community of patents.

So as you see from my revisions, the main map will never be “finished” and its real value is in “helping” to narrow down where the Old Folks lived.  Note also that I moved other patents around… such is this Jig Saw game…  Occasionally however, I will strike gold and there will be no doubt that the placement is “fact” and not mere guesswork.   In the case of this John Branch… my hunch is that it is placed within a mile or 2.  If more patents can be added it will further narrow him down.


And while I am on my soapbox… this 1720ish era of Old Isle of Wight (which crossed the Blackwater River and ran all the way to North Carolina until 1749) reminds me of a favorite research “source”… that being found on  Navigate to the Virginia, Isle of Wight records> Churches… click on the Newport Vestry 1723-1772.  At image 7 you will start finding records of what I suspect is the BRANCH folks that were in this area… therein are some of those delicious CLUES…



There is the “Widdow Branch” that first piqued my curiosity.  Note that she appears to be at the “Mouth of Lightwood Swamp”.  But then I can’t have all the fun… enjoy the hunt.






Written by anderson1951

January 7, 2017 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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