Tracing Early American Settlers: Mewboorn and Mewborn Origins


  • Ian G Macdonald



This monograph is a study of a family of early settlers in North Carolina. It follows a single family from its progenitor in the early 18th century and traces seven generations of descent. The progenitor’s origins are explored; family myths critically examined; possible links to the Palatine migration of 1710 considered. Wills, court records and land transactions are used to establish relationships and confirm identities in the 18th century. Census records from 1850 and burial records, particularly from, have enabled later generations to be well characterised as have published family bibles in some lines of descent. A mapping technique has been employed to trace family development, and migration, between 1790 and 1840 when censuses indicate numbers, ages and sex of household members, though with only the head named. Patterns in these censuses have been used in developing hypotheses for identity leading up to the full naming provided from 1850. Descent from the progenitor, Thomas Mewboorn, is traced in stages through 56 family trees covering the seven generations.

A strength of this paper is that it shows what can be achieved today in American genealogy by using online sources only. The study has been carried out from the UK. This may also be a weakness, and searches in American archives may be able to shed light on some areas of hypothesis. That, however, is how science progresses. It does not invalidate what has been done so far.


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