The Carolina Road

Virginia genealogists usually know about the Great Valley Road that flows down the western Shenandoah Valley from Pennsylvania across Virginia, Tennessee, into Northern Alabama. This great road had offshoots into North Carolina and northern Georgia. These trails are found on most migration maps.

What is not so well known is the Carolina Road. For example, it goes across Loudoun County, crossing the Potomac River from Frederick County Maryland, at Noland’s Ferry on the north and exits at the Fauquier County line crossing Bull Run near Bull Run Mountain. Not all maps show this early migration route taken by Indian traders from Delaware and Maryland through Virginia, across North Carolina into the back country of South Carolina.

The road is an early one. Migration down this important road increased dramatically about 1720, as the  Scots-Irish left their lease-holds in Ireland and came to the upper Chesapeake area. And German families arrived in Pennsylvania where they discovered the best lands were already taken and they headed to the Southern colonies along the Carolina road.

When the potato famine hit Ireland in the early 1740’s, Irish indentured servants came along the Carolina Road. Additional ferries were established to handle this increased traffic across the Potomac River.

See John T. Phillips, II, The Historian’s Guide to Loudoun County, Virginia. Volume I: Colonial Laws of Virginia and County Court Orders, 1757-1766. Published 1996 by Colonial Laws Project, Goose Creek Productions, P.O. Box 776, Leesburg VA 20178-0776. Phillips describes the ferries on this road and provides a map showing where they were located. His work also includes extensive transcripts from county court records. Well-indexed.

I have not been able to identify a Volume II. This is rather common as authors become involved in other projects and do not have the time or inclination to return to their previous research. You will find many important tips for research in Virginia and in Colonial America tucked in among the court records transcripts. Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS Google matched this project with the Plymouth Colony Archive Project (New England) and the Middle Colonies Project (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York).

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